EEOC Reaches Settlement Agreement Over Allegations of Software Programmed to Reject Job Applicants Based on Age

by | Feb 7, 2024 | 0 comments

settlement agreement

The news of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s recent settlement agreement with iTutorGroup for $365,000 has been making headlines, and for good reason. The settlement involves allegations that iTutorGroup programmed its software to automatically reject certain job applicants based on their age. What’s particularly noteworthy is that this is the first-ever settlement of its kind for the EEOC, as it involves allegations of discriminatory practices involving artificial intelligence.

In May 2022, the EEOC sued iTutorGroup for violating federal anti-age discrimination laws. iTutorGroup offers English tutoring services to students in China and hires U.S.-based citizens for remote tutor positions. As part of the application process, applicants were required to enter their date of birth.

The EEOC alleged iTutorGroup used software programmed to automatically reject female applicants over the age of 55 and male applicants over the age of 60. The lawsuit claims that over 200 applicants were impacted by this alleged discriminatory software programming. One female applicant purportedly entered an age over 55 and was rejected, but when she re-applied and lowered her age to under 55, she was offered an interview.

With the rise of automated systems for vetting job applications, the EEOC has been monitoring whether these systems perpetuate bias or discrimination against certain groups. To further understand the EEOC’s latest guidance on AI, check out our previous blog posts. We will continue to monitor news, legislation, and litigation related to AI in the workplace.