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Facebook has become a mainstream source for information for many people in California. The popular social media platform attracts many job advertisers, and the American Civil Liberties Union has criticized the social network's ad targeting system that allowed companies to prevent women from seeing ads for open positions. The ACLU has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of three woman and their union.

The complaint names 10 companies that actively excluded women from seeing their job ads. Employers that allegedly discriminated against women in hiring included a police department, a software developer and a construction company. The ACLU wants to hold Facebook accountable for breaking laws that prohibit targeting job ads by sex. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans gender discrimination in the workplace, including the hiring process, and other state and local regulations also make gender-targeted job ads unlawful.

The ACLU noted in its complaint that Facebook has removed the ability of employers to filter out other protected classes of people, but gender targeting remains possible. The complaint called it a conscious decision at Facebook to maintain the ability to exclude women from employment opportunities.

Hiring practices represent the front line of employment discrimination when they deny applicants a fair chance. People also experience unfair treatment after being hired. A person who has been passed over for promotion, retaliated against because of complaints or been paid less than colleagues could discuss with an attorney how to respond. An attorney's evaluation might reveal evidence of illegal conduct and enable a formal complaint.

Source: Engadget, "ACLU: Facebook allowed gender-discriminating job ads", Mallory Locklear, Sept. 18, 2018

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