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Facebook allowed employers to exclude women from job ads, ACLU says

From NPR

Facebook became embroiled in another controversy Tuesday, after the American Civil Liberties Union accused the company of giving employers a powerful tool to discriminate against women seeking work.

The complaint alleges that Facebook allowed employers to target job ads exclusively to men — that "they're profiting from thousands of ads that are being hidden from women," civil rights lawyer Peter Romer-Friedman of Outten & Golden told NPR.

Three women, from Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois, came forward on behalf of female and non-male Facebook users. They said in the complaint that they were denied certain job opportunities because they never saw the ads. Many of the postings, like those for mechanics or truck drivers, were in male-dominated fields.

The complaint was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by the ACLU, Outten & Golden and labor union Communications Workers of America.

The lawyers said that practice violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes discrimination based on sex illegal.

"The only difference between Facebook's ad targeting practice and the sex-segregated classified ads of yore is that Facebook — unlike newspapers, which are distributed to the general public — can actually ensure that specific ads are only delivered to its male or female users," ACLU senior staff attorney Galen Sherwin said in a statement.

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