Lawsuit cites discrimination against older people in Facebook ads

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The Communications Workers of America union is suing multiple U.S. companies over Facebook ads targeted towards young people, claiming the ads are a form of age discrimination against older job-seekers.

The CWA filed the lawsuit against companies such as Amazon, T-Mobile and Cox Communications in a San Francisco federal court Wednesday, according to Reuters. The union is accusing the companies of putting age limits on individuals who can see job recruitment ads.

The complaint from the CWA also accuses Facebook of using the method when it recruits for jobs at its social media company. A joint investigation by The New York Times and ProPublica, published Wednesday, found that Facebook and companies like Goldman Sachs, Amazon, and Target use the social media website’s targeting tool for job ads meant for certain age brackets.

“This pattern or practice of discrimination denies job opportunities to individuals who are searching for and interested in jobs, reduces the number of older workers who apply for jobs with the offending employers and employment agencies, and depresses the number of older workers who are hired,” the complaint reads.

The attorneys will pursue a class action lawsuit and additional defendants will be named, but Facebook has responded with a statement that counters the investigation.

“Used responsibly, age-based targeting for employment purposes is an accepted industry practice and for good reason: It helps employers recruit and people of all ages find work,” Rob Goldman, a vice president for Facebook, said to the news outlets.

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