In a message that applies to both the federal and private sectors, the EEOC has cautioned about the potential for discriminatory practices in hiring through the use of artificial intelligence.
“Employers increasingly use AI and other software tools to help them select new employees, monitor performance, and determine pay or promotions. Employers may give computer-based tests to applicants or use computer software to score applicants’ resumes. Many of these tools use algorithms or AI. These tools may result in unlawful discrimination against people with disabilities in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” it said.
The agency issued technical assistance stating that: employers should have a process in place to provide reasonable accommodations when using algorithmic decision-making tools; without proper safeguards, workers with disabilities may be screened out from consideration in a job or promotion even if they can do the job with or without a reasonable accommodation; and if the use of AI or algorithms results in applicants or employees having to provide information about disabilities or medical conditions, it may result in prohibited disability-related inquiries or medical exams.
The guidance was issued under an initiative the EEOC started last year to “examine more closely how existing and developing technologies fundamentally change the ways employment decisions are made. The initiative’s goal is to guide employers, employees, job applicants, and vendors to ensure that these technologies are used fairly and consistently with federal equal employment opportunity laws,” it said.
A link to the guidance is at eeoc.gov.