It’s illegal to target digital ads/jobs, on the basis of gender, age, location: EEOC

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ruled that if job ads are posted such that only a certain section of the population can view them, it is a clear case of discrimination and violation of laws.

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The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ruled against seven companies that posted ads on Facebook, to publicise vacancies such that the ads were targeted only at young women. Older job seekers and women above 55 could not view these postings.

In 2018, the US National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and other private parties, had filed a lawsuit against Facebook, alleging that it allows job discrimination on the basis of age, gender and location. Civil rights organisations had also intervened in the matter last year, following which there had been settlement agreements.

It is now reported that the US Commission has ruled against seven employers, Capital One, Edward Jones, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Enterprise Holdings, Renewal by Andersen, Drive Time Auto, and Sandhills Publishing for having bought ads on Facebook, which could be seen only by young women and were not visible to women above 55 or older workers.

The Commission saw this as a serious violation of laws and a clear case of discrimination on a digital platform. Its ruling suggests that it is illegal to target digital jobs on the basis of gender and age.

In March this year, Facebook had announced changes wherein those who wished to run ads for vacancies will be prevented from targeting on the basis of age, gender or location/zip code.

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