international employment law firm alliance L&E Global

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

Companies’ employee-recruitment ads on social media and websites are the latest targets of the plaintiff’s bar. L&E Global’s member firm in the United States, Jackson Lewis P.C., reports on the latest legal trends affecting employers with US operations that are being targeted with this claim.

What is the claim?

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.

How can Jackson Lewis help?

Our Class Actions and Complex Litigation team has been tracking this development closely. Our goal in bringing these threatened lawsuits to your attention is to provide information and advance notice around a potentially serious issue. Jackson Lewis has assembled an internal team to provide an immediate response to such threats and to efficiently defend employers. If you have any questions, or if you would like to discuss your company’s recruiting and hiring practices in detail, please reach out to Stephanie Adler-Paindiris, Paul Patten, Eric Magnus and Tory Chavey.