Plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit have expanded the scope of their action, alleging that Facebook and other major employers violated federal and state anti-age bias laws by excluding older job seekers from seeing online employment ads, reports ProPublica.
The Communications Workers of America and three older workers are suing on behalf of union members and others, who they claim missed employment opportunities because they never saw job postings after employers used Facebook-provided targeting tools and algorithms to direct ads to younger potential applicants.
The original complaint was filed at the same time as a 2017 ProPublica–New York Times report that raised concerns about online job ads discriminating against later-career workers. Facebook subsequently limited job advertisers’ ability to exclude users in some demographic groups — but not groups defined by age.
In a recent amended complaint filed with the federal district court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, CWA and the law firm added claims to those they made in late 2017. Beyond enabling exclusionary ads, the new complaint alleges that Facebook lets employers craft ads for “lookalike audiences” that are demographically narrow or similar to people already working for the employers placing the ads, a move that the plaintiffs say marginalizes older workers. More here.