We came across the article, “EEOC Finds Age-Restricted Advertisements Violate ADEA,” by Nilan Johnson Lewis PA, Mark Girouard, Joel O’Malley, Pablo Orozco, and Joseph Schmitt, on jdsurpa.com. Many employers received charges of age discrimination in recent years because they restricted what age groups could receive their employment ads on Facebook, using functionality available on Facebook. Some companies used this feature to restrict older users from viewing their ads. This meant that they did not provide an equal employment opportunity to people of all ages. The EEOC determined that such practices are in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”) which protects potential employees from age discrimination.
The authors noted that many companies hire third party organizations to handle online recruiting. This is important because these third-party organization may use advertising practices that target certain age groups without their client’s knowledge. Companies that outsource recruiting must ensure that all recruiting efforts are free of discriminatory practices or favoritism towards a certain group. HR must review the content of all ads created for their company.
The article states that companies using discriminatory recruiting processes must change their practices immediately to avoid possible litigation. Furthermore, if your organization has already been charged with discriminatory recruitment practices, it is recommended that you obtain legal counsel before responding, review your recruiting program for possible liabilities or defenses, and run statistical comparisons to determine the best course of defense.
In sum, online recruiting practices that target specific age groups violate ADEA. It is critical that you become familiar with the recruiting practices of your organization to ensure that no forms of discrimination are taking place. Failure to do so may result in serious legal consequences and negative publicity.