EEOC to investigate impact of AI and other tech tools on hiring

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October 29, 2021

Artificial intelligence and other tech tools for hiring are coming under scrutiny by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to make sure they don’t run afoul of equal employment laws.

The agency this week announced an initiative to study how tech is changing the way employment decisions are made.

“Artificial intelligence and algorithmic decision-making tools have great potential to improve our lives, including in the area of employment,” EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows said. “At the same time, the EEOC is keenly aware that these tools may mask and perpetuate bias or create new discriminatory barriers to jobs.”

Burrows said her agency must ensure these technologies don’t become a “high-tech pathway to discrimination.”

The initiative aims to help applicants, employees, employers and tech vendors ensure these technologies are used in a fair manner consistent with equal employment opportunity laws.

“While the technology may be evolving, anti-discrimination laws still apply,” Burrows said. “The EEOC will address workplace bias that violates federal civil rights laws regardless of the form it takes, and the agency is committed to helping employers understand how to benefit from these new technologies while also complying with employment laws.”

Plans for the initiative include forming internal working groups to coordinate the initiative, holding listening sessions with key stakeholders, gathering information, identifying promising practices and issuing technical assistance.

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