The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released new technical assistance that aims to prevent AI systems and algorithmic decision-making tools from discriminating against job seekers and workers.
The guidance, titled “Assessing Adverse Impact in Software, Algorithms, and Artificial Intelligence Used in Employment Selection Procedures Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” offers advice for employers to prevent AI use from leading to discrimination in the workplace.
As AI technologies are increasingly used to help with selecting new employees, monitoring performance, and determining pay or promotions, EEOC hopes the new guidance will ensure proper safeguards in line with civil rights laws.
“As employers increasingly turn to AI and other automated systems, they must ensure that the use of these technologies aligns with the civil rights laws and our national values of fairness, justice, and equality,” EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows said in a press release. “This new technical assistance document will aid employers and tech developers as they design and adopt new technologies.”
The technical assistance document discusses “adverse impact,” which is a key civil rights concept, to help employers prevent the use of AI from leading to discrimination in the workplace.
Additionally, it offers answers to questions employers and tech developers may have about how Title VII applies to the use of automated systems in employment decisions – and whether such systems have an “adverse or disparate impact on a basis prohibited by Title VII.”
“I encourage employers to conduct an ongoing self-analysis to determine whether they are using technology in a way that could result in discrimination,” said Burrows. “This technical assistance resource is another step in helping employers and vendors understand how civil rights laws apply to automated systems used in employment.”
The guidance comes after the EEOC released its strategic enforcement plan in January for 2023-2027, which also looks to reduce hiring discrimination that stems from the use of algorithms and other technologies.