EEOC’s Guide to Navigating AI and Preventing Discrimination in Hiring

by | Sep 15, 2023

EEOC’s Guide to Navigating AI and Preventing Discrimination in Hiring: In May 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) dropped some knowledge bombs for all you folks out there dabbling in the wizardry of artificial intelligence (AI) during your hiring process. Picture this: AI-powered software scrutinizing a candidate’s voice tone and facial expressions during a video interview or algorithms diving deep into resumes, hunting for those oh-so-crucial keywords. As you might guess, this tech-infused recruitment tool has raised eyebrows, especially when it comes to the potential for discrimination. But guess who’s stepping up to address these concerns? Yep, you guessed it, the EEOC.

We’ve previously discussed how the EEOC assembled a team of experts to tackle these sticky issues surrounding discrimination and AI in recruitment. Their message to employers is crystal clear: stay sharp and don’t get too comfy with this AI stuff, whether it’s for hiring, promotions, or even saying goodbye to employees.

The EEOC, the federal heavyweight responsible for enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (you know, the one that says no discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, or sex), has just delivered a nifty guide for employers eager to keep things on the up-and-up while venturing into AI-driven employment selection. This guide includes a handy Q&A section, revealing the EEOC’s stance that an employer might still be on the hook under Title VII, even if they outsourced the AI magic to a third party. In simpler terms, if you play with AI, you better play fair, and the EEOC is here to remind you of that.

So why is this guide such a big deal? Well, it’s all about making sure AI doesn’t accidentally mess with the lives and livelihoods of employees who might be in protected categories. While this guide might not have all the answers, it’s a solid starting point.

In the EEOC’s guidance, the agency is all about encouraging employers to keep an eagle eye on their data. Regularly analyzing this treasure trove of information helps employers spot any fishy business caused by AI in their hiring process. If they do find something off-kilter, the guide suggests that employers chat it out with their AI program providers. It’s like having a heart-to-heart with your AI babysitter. But here’s the kicker: the EEOC is warning that even if your AI partner in crime messes up and there’s a discriminatory outcome, you’re still on the hook. It’s like they’re shouting, “Buyer beware!” from the mountaintops.

This guidance emphasizes the EEOC’s belief that employers should always be on their toes, continuously evaluating the data AI churns out during hiring.

As always, we’ll be right here, keeping an eagle eye on the ever-evolving legal terrain of AI in the workplace. So stay tuned!