The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union have initiated a lawsuit against Facebook and other defendants because of the Facebook platform’s ability to target only men for job opportunities. According to the ACLU suit, which included ten employers, the defendants have used Facebook to single out men for specific job campaigns, which is a violation of employment discrimination laws.
The federal law at the center of the suit is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under this law, a business cannot take out paid job vacancy ads that specifically target one gender. Facebook may also be culpable for its role in facilitating discriminatory advertising campaigns.
In a recent statement, a spokesperson for Facebook disagreed by saying, “There is no place for discrimination on Facebook; it’s strictly prohibited in our policies….We look forward to defending our practices.”
This is not the first instance of alleged violations of workplace discrimination laws related to the Facebook platform. Facebook was recently scrutinized after a Manhattan firm was accused of posted discriminatory ads that targeted people of a specific age group.
Clearly, technology comes with many conveniences. However, it also comes with the potential for being abused in ways that infringe upon worker’s rights. It will be interesting to follow the instant suit, as it could establish a precedent for similar cases in the future.
If you’ve been the victim of discrimination related to a job posting, you might want to investigate your legal options in order to ascertain whether you can pursue a claim for damages.