Age discrimination is not always obvious

If you are over 40 and looking for a new job, you are probably aware of your challenges. Jobs are scarce, and good paying jobs are even harder to find. While you know the law protects you against age discrimination in the hiring process, you can’t help but feel that employers are not giving you the same consideration as they are to younger applicants.

That is, if you can even find information about job openings. Maybe you have signed up to receive notifications through social media or from any of the job search databases available online. Nevertheless, you can’t apply for jobs if you don’t get the notifications. Is it possible that you are not even receiving a chance to apply?

Micro-targeting is the new discrimination

Employers know that the law forbids them from advertising positions for male or female applicants or from stipulating that only those of a certain race, age or marital status will receive consideration for hiring. The many equal employment laws at the federal level make that clear. If an employer refuses to interview you or passes you over for a younger, less-qualified applicant, you would have cause to file a complaint for age discrimination.

However, some corporations have found a way around that by simply not recruiting older workers. This new type of discrimination is called “micro-targeting”.

Some examples of this include the following:

  • A business may go only to college campuses to find new hires instead of placing ads on job search websites.
  • Potential employers who use social media such as Facebook to recruit employees can narrow their target audiences by selecting certain demographics, such as those between ages 18 and 38.
  • Businesses may require a potential candidate to have fewer than a certain number of years’ experience, eliminating many seasoned workers from consideration.
  • Employers aim their recruitment toward social media users who click ads for goods and services only younger audiences will find interesting.

As a result of previous discrimination lawsuits, Facebook now has a legal obligation to stop advertisers from targeting people of certain races or nationalities or based on their sexual orientation. However, that court order does not explicitly include age discrimination. Companies like T-Mobile regularly narrow their Facebook audiences to exclude older users.

Facebook defends this practice, saying it is not illegal. However, infringing on your right to employment despite your age may be cause for legal action. If you suspect you are the victim of age discrimination, you have the right to seek advice from an experienced New York attorney.

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