Feds Warn Employers Against Discriminatory Hiring Algorithms
Don't let AI negatively impact your hiring practices
As companies increasingly involve artificial intelligence (AI) in their hiring processes, advocates, lawyers, and researchers have continued to sound the alarm. Algorithms have been found to automatically assign job candidates different scores based on arbitrary criteria like whether they wear glasses or a headscarf or have a bookshelf in the background. Hiring algorithms can penalize applicants for having a Black-sounding name, mentioning a women’s college and even submitting their résumé using certain file types. They can disadvantage people who stutter or have a physical disability that limits their ability to interact with a keyboard.
All of this has gone widely unchecked. But now, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have offered guidance on what businesses and government agencies must do to ensure their use of AI in hiring complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"We cannot let these tools become a high-tech pathway to discrimination," said EEOC chair Charlotte Burrows in a briefing with reporters on Thursday. The EEOC instructs employers to disclose to applicants not only when algorithmic tools are being used to evaluate them but what traits those algorithms assess.
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