ALERT- Plaintiff’s Bar Currently Targeting Online Hiring Practices: What Your Company Needs To Know

by Jackson Lewis P.C.
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 The latest target of the plaintiff’s overly-aggressive tactics—a company’s use of recruitment ads in hiring employees.  All industries and all forms of advertising are potentially coming under attack, including social media platforms and websites dedicated to employee recruiting.  Specifically, the plaintiff’s bar has repeatedly targeted certain advertisements on social media sites that encourage individuals to apply for jobs at their company, using information obtained from user profiles.

What is the claim?

The legal argument being asserted is that the advertisements are alleged class violations of federal, state, and local laws that prohibit age discrimination in employment advertising, recruitment, sourcing, and hiring, including the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).  The theory is as follows: certain social media sites have a feature that allows a user to see the reason they were identified to receive a particular advertisement.  The language under the targeted advertisement might state, for example, that the company intends for the ad to reach a certain demographic, i.e. people ages 28 to 45 who live or were recently in the United States.  The plaintiff’s bar is seizing upon this type of advertisement and language to allege that the plaintiff is in receipt of direct evidence that the company “regularly targets younger prospective job applicants on [social media sites]” and, therefore, that the Company is likely engaged in other forms of hiring discrimination.  Based on these ads and these allegations, the plaintiff’s bar is threatening legal action—including filing class and associational charges of discrimination with federal, state, and/or local agencies.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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