Age Discrimination by Platforms

28 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2018 Last revised: 31 Jul 2019

See all articles by Ifeoma Ajunwa

Ifeoma Ajunwa

Emory University School of Law; Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Date Written: May 24, 2018


This Essay explores how platforms in the workplace (both social media and hiring platforms) might enable, facilitate, or contribute to age discrimination in employment. The Essay starts with evidence of age discrimination on popular platforms particularly with regard to design elements used to redline, dissuade, or cull older applicants. It then presents the challenging legal issues raised by the mediation of such discriminatory practices by a platform, notably in regards to proof of both disparate treatment and disparate impact. The Essay then puts forth a three-part proposal to combat age discrimination in the face of platform authoritarianism. Those proposals include: 1) education regarding the use of ageist language in job ads; 2) the reinforcement of the disparate impact cause of action for the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) via codification; and 3) new EEOC guidelines for design and documentation requirements for job advertisement, recruitment, and hiring platforms.

Suggested Citation

Ajunwa, Ifeoma, Age Discrimination by Platforms (May 24, 2018). Ifeoma Ajunwa, 40 Berkeley J. Emp. & Lab. L. 1 (2019), Available at SSRN:

Ifeoma Ajunwa (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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