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IMA Executive News & Views Blog

Plaintiff’s Bar Currently Targeting Online Hiring Practices: What Your Company Needs to Know

Jackson Lewis is an IMA member…

Companies’ employee-recruitment ads on social media and websites are the latest targets of the plaintiff’s bar.

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). ADEA protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age.

The theory is as follows: a feature on certain social media sites allows a user to see the reason he or she was identified to receive a particular advertisement. The feature may show, for example, the company wanted 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.


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