The Rutten Law Firm, APC

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Facebook accused of discrimination in job ads

A gender discrimination complaint was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that Facebook and others have used the social media platform to post biased job advertisements. Specifically, a group of women who use Facebook claim that certain job ads were targeted so that they did not appear to women on the site. Rather, the help wanted ads were shown only to men. California employees and people looking for jobs might be entitled to claim damages if they've been discriminated against during the hiring process.

The claimants allege that not displaying employment ads to women violates the provisions of the Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against job seekers or employees on the basis of race, gender or other protected characteristics. The Communications Workers of America and the American Civil Liberties Union both offered support to the EEOC complaint.

In most cases, it is not illegal for companies to advertise services filtered for the target market, but it may be illegal with regard to banking or financial services as well as real estate or housing. Facebook has also been the target of an age discrimination class-action suit filed by older users who are job seeking. The company has said that it should not have responsibility for the ads posted by independent businesses, citing the Communications Decency Act.

Federal law requires that employees and people looking for jobs file a complaint with the EEOC before they can pursue relief in federal court for employment discrimination. People who feel they've been discriminated against might want to speak with a lawyer with experience handling workplace discrimination cases, who may be able to help by examining the client's situation and gathering evidence or conducting depositions in preparation for trial. A lawyer might negotiate a settlement or draft an EEOC complaint on their client's behalf.

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