NYC Takes the Reins on AI Use in the Workplace

by | Sep 12, 2023

AI use in the workplace

AI use in the workplace: In the ever-evolving world of employment law, AI is now a key player in making hiring and promotion decisions. But let’s get one thing straight: letting AI do the heavy lifting doesn’t mean employers can just sit back and sip cocktails while it does all the work. New York City is leading the charge, sounding the alarm for employers to keep their wits about them when it comes to using AI for employment choices. Just this summer, the city implemented a groundbreaking law that’s the first of its kind. Under this law, if employers are using AI to make hiring and promotion calls (as defined by this new law), they’ve got some homework to do.

The law mandates that employers must put their AI technology through an independent audit, dive deep into the data to spot any unfair impacts, share the results with the world, and notify the applicants and employees who are affected by this tech wizardry. And here’s the kicker: not following these rules can hit the company’s wallet with monetary penalties.

Now, when it comes to notifying the folks on the receiving end of AI decisions, it’s not just a casual heads-up. Employers have to spill the beans on what exactly the AI is analyzing, like job qualifications and characteristics, and where it’s getting its data from. These two aspects are potential minefields for discrimination. Knowing what the AI is chewing on in terms of qualifications is crucial; if there’s a gap between what’s being evaluated and what’s actually needed for the job, alarm bells start ringing. People might wonder why there’s a disconnect and even suspect some shady business. Then there’s the data source – some groups might not leave much of a digital footprint, while others could end up overrepresented in certain categories. It’s a real tightrope walk for employers.

These laws cracking down on AI use in the workplace are like a whole new world. Investigations into possible discrimination have to dig deep into job responsibilities, understand what the AI is looking for, scrutinize audit reports, check if there’s any unfair impact, and assess how involved employers are in the AI decision-making process. It’s a complex area that demands constant attention and awareness. Lawmakers are basically telling employers to tread carefully and do their due diligence when AI enters the employment picture. Discrimination risks are real, which is why these new laws and the EEOC’s recent focus on the matter are making waves.