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Discriminatory Hiring Advertisements


As an employer, you can violate employment law before you even hire or interview a potential employee. Employment discrimination often occurs at the advertising level all the way through recruitment, hiring, wage discrepancies, harassment in the workplace, promotion—or lack thereof—and position termination. An experienced West Palm Beach employment attorney can help you avoid all forms of inadvertent employment discrimination, which starts with job advertising.

Protected Traits Enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Under employment laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it is unlawful for an employer to publish an advertisement for a job that displays any type of preference of applicant based on any of the following protected traits:

  • Race;
  • Color;
  • National origin;
  • Sex, which includes sexual orientation, pregnancy, and gender;
  • Religion;
  • Disability;
  • Age if over 40; and
  • Genetic information.

How Discrimination Happens During Advertising

Examples of discriminatory advertisements include the following:

  • Ads specifically seeking a sex, such as“young females wanted” or “strong men;”
  • Ads that display a preference for an applicant with a certain type of religion, such as “good Christian workers wanted;”
  • Ads seeking “recent college graduates,” “young applicants,” or that otherwise discriminate against an applicant’s age;
  • Ads that have a preference for a certain ethnicity, such as “no Hispanics,” “no immigrants wanted;” or “no foreigners;”
  • Ads that have a preference towards family status, such as “married applicants wanted,” or “childless applicants wanted;”
  • Ads that discriminate against race or ethnicity, such as “Spanish speakers not wanted,” “no blacks,” or “Jews need not apply;” and
  • Ads that discriminate against sexual orientation, such as “no gays wanted.”

However, job advertisement discrimination does not stop there. Ad discrimination does not need to hit certain words or phrases to be sexist, racist, or otherwise discriminatory. Limiting who sees the ads can also be a form of ad discrimination or job recruiting discrimination.

Online Ad Discrimination

66 major employers and Facebook were recently sued by Facebook users who claimed that the social media site was discriminating against elderly workers and women, according to VOX. The job advertisements were allegedly only visible to younger workers and men. While it may seem, in a situation like this, that the social media site should be solely responsible, employers can be held liable, too, which is why small and large employers need to have a firm grasp on anti-discrimination advertising practices.

Reach Out to Our Experienced West Palm Beach Employment Discrimination Attorneys for Comprehensive Counseling

Navigating state and federal anti discrimination laws can be difficult for even well-intentioned employers. While you may believe that you have done nothing wrong and are not a biased business owner yourself, the advertising that you do to recruit employees can qualify you as such. This not only hurts employee morale and your business’ reputation in the community, but can result in fines and civil damages that you are obligated to pay. Here at Pincus & Currier, LLP, our West Palm Beach labor & employment lawyers offer comprehensive employment counseling for employers and professional litigation services. Call us today at 561-868-1340 to schedule a consultation.

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