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Can social media marketing efforts lead to age discrimination?
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Can social media marketing efforts lead to age discrimination?

| May 11, 2021 | Discrimination

When attempting to fill a vacant position, the human resources team will likely explore all avenues of marketing to cast a wide net. Unfortunately, the language used, and the type of ad could ultimately result in discriminatory hiring practices.

In the last two decades, social media outlets have grown from a way to share memes and vacation photos to a legitimate source for business contacts, digital storefronts and other professional endeavors. Individuals often spend hours each day perusing various articles shared by friends and trusted organizations on social networking sites. It’s no wonder, then, that hiring managers will leverage the traffic on social media to expand their applicant pool. Unfortunately, this practice could block a significant segment leading to allegations of age discrimination.

How are older applicants discriminated against?

While the use of social media advertising automatically limits the number of potential applicants, many social media platforms allow advertisers to select the age range to whom the promotion will be visible. There is no shortage of examples of lawsuits that were filed against employers for using the platform-enabled tools to direct ads to a younger audience, thereby discriminating against older applicants. Denying a potential applicant access to a job posting based solely on his or her age is an example of age discrimination.

Additionally, the hiring team must be cautious to avoid terms such as “tech-savvy” or “digital native” when building out the job profile. By sticking specifically to the direct responsibilities and desired work history, an organization can avoid discriminating against a segment of job seekers.

If you feel you were discriminated against in the workplace or were the victim of discriminatory hiring practices, it is wise to discuss your specific situation with an experienced attorney. A lawyer can review your case and provide guidance and insight into your best course of action.

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