The ACLU, the US civil rights organisation, filed a complaint against Facebook on Tuesday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which could be the first step to a lawsuit.
In its complaint, the ACLU claimed the social network had allowed 10 firms to advertise jobs to positions at male-dominated fields “to younger male Facebook users only, excluding all women and non-binary individuals, as well as older male users.”
BREAKING: We’ve filed charges against @Facebook and 10 employers for using the platform to target their job ads — for positions in male-dominated fields — only to younger men.
Facebook is violating federal civil rights law. Period.
— ACLU (@ACLU) September 18, 2018
The organisation is bringing its suit on behalf of three unnamed job seekers and tech union, the Communications Workers of America, with an eye to widening it to a class-action suit on behalf of millions of workers.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of gender, race, age, colour, or religion.
The ACLU wrote in a blogpost: “Enabled by social media platforms like Facebook, advertisers are increasingly using users’ personal data to direct their ads — including for jobs — to individual users based on characteristics such as sex, race, and age, thus excluding users outside of the selected groups from learning about these opportunities.”
Facebook said on Tuesday that it was reviewing the complaint. Business Insider has contacted the company for comment.