Parties Reach Amicable Resolution in Social Media Job Ads Dispute

May 17, 2023

Washington, DC—The Communications Workers of America (CWA), two individual CWA members, and Target have reached a consensual resolution in a dispute under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which covers workers age 40 and older, and similar state laws. The complainants were represented by attorneys from AARP Foundation Litigation, Outten & Golden LLP, and Peter Romer-Friedman Law PLLC.

In January 2018, Maurice Anscombe, Lura Callahan, and the CWA filed complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), claiming that Target published job ads on a social media platform in 2017 that were directed to younger workers within certain age ranges only, and not to older workers. Target maintains that its use of those audience selection tools did not violate the ADEA or any other law.

Under the terms of the parties’ resolution, Target has committed to maintain and expand its existing practices to further advance the recruitment and hiring of older workers. These practices include:

  • recruiting on websites focused on older workers,
  • using images of older workers in job advertisements, and
  • participating in job fairs that older workers commonly attend.

Target will also monitor its use of audience selection tools for social media job advertisements to ensure that those ads are lawful and will not seek disclosure of information about or exclude applicants based on their age, date of graduation, generation, or adjectives that describe people in relation to their age (such as “millennial” or “digital native”).

“We are very pleased that Target has committed to these recruitment and hiring practices that promote equal opportunities for all workers regardless of age and provide a model for other employers to follow,” said William Alvarado Rivera, Senior Vice President for Litigation at AARP Foundation. “Age should play no role in any employment decision. Experienced workers should have a level playing field in their ability to compete for, obtain, and retain jobs.”