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Does age-targeted job recruiting violate civil rights?

College graduates are no longer guaranteed to find a job just because they have a degree. If the job market is a challenge for young people in Illinois and across the country, those who are over 40 have even more difficulty finding work. While it is a violation of employment civil rights for an employer to refuse to hire someone simply because of his or her age, some businesses may have found a way around that law.

Several lawsuits are claiming that corporations are avoiding having to consider older workers by aiming their recruiting techniques at a younger audience. For example, instead of placing an ad on a job seeker website, a company may recruit exclusively on college campuses. Some employers narrow their recruitment by requiring candidates to have fewer than seven years of experience since older workers may have decades of past employment.

Another tactic employers use is the option on Facebook and other social media to narrow down their target audience. Their ads for job openings only appear to subscribers who fit a certain demographic. Anyone who is not in that demographic never even sees that a job is available.

Previous lawsuits resulted in Facebook owners signing a legally binding pledge to prohibit advertisers from discriminating against social media users of certain ages, races and genders. However, T-Mobile ads still target those between 18 and 38. Legal analysts admit that microtargeting is a new realm of civil rights law that needs interpretation. Like anyone who feels an employer's hiring or firing practices are based on age discrimination, those in Illinois have the right to seek legal advice about their circumstances.

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