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News and Announcements

Mar 19, 2019 / News Item
The sweeping changes come two years after ProPublica’s reporting, which sparked lawsuits and widespread outrage. Facebook advertisers can no longer target users by age, gender and ZIP code for housing, employment and credit offers, the company announced Tuesday as part of a major settlement with civil rights organizations. The wide-ranging agreement follows reporting by ProPublica since 2016 that found Facebook let advertisers exclude users by race and other categories that are protected by federal law. It is illegal for housing, job and credit advertisers to discriminate against protected...

Mar 19, 2019 / News Item
Facebook on Tuesday settled a series of lawsuits alleging it enabled advertisers to illegally exclude certain users from seeing their job, housing and credit ads, with the tech giant agreeing to overhaul its platform to limit those ads from being targeted toward cherry-picked users in a discriminatory way. The global settlement resolves four cases against Facebook that had been pending in federal court as well as a case pending before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Each suit included a variation of the allegation that Facebook's employment, housing and credit advertisements...

Mar 19, 2019 / News Item
Ana Blinder, ACLU, 646-905-8877, Peter Romer-Friedman, Outten & Golden LLP, 718-938-6132, Amy Fetherolf, Communication Workers of America, NEW YORK — A historic civil rights settlement was announced with Facebook today following a variety of anti-discrimination legal actions. The settlement encompasses sweeping changes that the tech giant will make to its paid advertising platform to prevent discrimination in employment, housing, and credit advertising. Since late 2016, Facebook has faced legal pressure from the American...

Tech-Driven Hiring Tools May Spawn New Wave Of Bias Suits

Jan 18, 2019 / News Item
A new breed of high-tech hiring tools aimed at helping employers sift through growing applicant pools can unfairly weed out women and minorities, putting unwary businesses at risk of being caught up in an anticipated wave of bias litigation. Experts say these tools, which use algorithms to predict whether an applicant will be successful in a given job, can perpetuate existing sex- or race-based gaps in employers’ workforces or create new ones. The tools haven’t led to any suits yet, but experts say that's likely to change. * * * These tools owe their rise to the internet and the ways it’s...
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May 31, 2018 / News Item
Facebook users are suing them for age discrimination. Older workers are accusing Facebook, Ikea, and hundreds of other companies for discriminating against job seekers in their 50s and 60s through targeted job ads posted on Facebook. The Communications Workers of America, a labor union representing 700,000 media workers across the country, added the companies to a class-action lawsuit on Tuesday, which was filed in California federal court in December. In its original complaint, the labor union accused Amazon, T-Mobile, and Cox Media Group of doing the same thing. The case, Bradley v. T-...

May 30, 2018 / News Item
A federal suit filed in December claimed older workers missed out on job opportunities because ads on Facebook targeted younger users. Now plaintiffs say Facebook’s tools and algorithm gave employers ways to intensify the effects of such targeting. Plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit have expanded the scope of their action, alleging that Facebook and other major employers violated federal and state anti-age bias laws by excluding older job seekers from seeing online employment ads. The Communications Workers of America and three older workers are suing on behalf of union members and others, who...

May 29, 2018 / News Item
The Communication Workers of America expanded its proposed class action Tuesday alleging Amazon, T-Mobile and "hundreds of major American employers" illegally target younger workers in Facebook job ads, adding federal age-bias claims and broadening the case's theory to target Facebook’s audience algorithm. The suit, originally filed in California federal court in December, alleges the companies directed Facebook Inc. to show job ads only to younger workers, in violation of various state age-discrimination laws. Tuesday’s amended complaint adds nationwide collective claims under the federal...

May 29, 2018 / Press Release
“The takeaway here is that algorithms may not care about civil rights laws, but we do and the law does,” Outten & Golden's Peter Romer-Friedman says. Facebook is not a defendant in the case, where major U.S. companies are accused of violating employment law in recruitment practices that use the social media company's advertising platforms. A group of major U.S. companies that use Facebook’s platforms to advertise job opportunities violated state and federal employment law by discriminating against older applicants, according to a newly amended complaint filed Tuesday in San Francisco...

May 29, 2018 / News Item
A proposed class action lawsuit alleging Facebook’s ad placement tools facilitate discrimination against older job-seekers has been expanded to identify additional companies, further widening the latest front in claims that candidates are being filtered out by gender, geography, race and age. “When Facebook’s own algorithm disproportionately directs ads to younger workers at the exclusion of older workers, Facebook and the advertisers who are using Facebook as an agent to send their advertisements are engaging in disparate treatment,” a communications union alleged in the amended complaint—...

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