Is it OK for an employer to use targeted advertising on Facebook or other social media sites?

Author: Linda Segall, Segall Enterprises

Some social media platforms offer targeted advertising opportunities. Facebook in particular is able to narrow down demographic data to very fine levels. No laws prevent employers from targeting advertising. It has been done for decades in print advertising.

A problem is created, however, when the employer gets too specific. For example, if an employer were to place ads targeting females between the ages of 18-25, it risks allegations of discrimination on the basis of gender and age (unless sex and age are bona fide occupational qualifications).