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Use caution when posting job ads

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2021 | Employment Law

There are many issues in hiring and seeking out new employees. Whether your business purpose is to replace a valued member or keep up with growth, state and federal law is clear about avoiding potential discrimination whenever you hire someone. A frequently overlooked element is age discrimination. The law says that age cannot be a consideration for applicants over age 40.

Just as social media is under scrutiny for political ads, there are also questions about the new media’s approach to job postings. Facebook and other social media ads allow targeting social media users, such as choosing to direct ads to a certain education level, geography, distinct hobby interests, and age groups. Until 2019, that included job ads.

Phrasing and placement are factors

Facebook is a high-profile example, and in response to pending lawsuits, the company changed direction. But this concept of targeting extends beyond social media, even to physical recruitment.

Other disputed practices include exclusive recruitment at college campuses and even how a job posting phrases its qualification requirements. An ad calling for applicants with 3 to 7 years of experience, for example, often points to a distinct age group. A job seeker at age 50 is likely to have far more experience.

Compliance and protection

All aspects of business management are challenging, but one of the most important elements is choosing to represent your company to do the work and face your clients. Whether you run a restaurant, repair service or complex business-to-business operations, you need to carefully select a qualified applicant while also subscribing to state and federal laws that prevent discrimination. Even subtle wording or a specifically-targeted job posting can reveal bias in hiring.

Business law is complex and frequently changing, whether that refers to legislation, technology or cultural shifts. The days of listing a help wanted ad in the Sunday paper are gone, and the digital arena presents unique new challenges.