Artificial intelligence-powered “bossware” tools that closely track employees’ whereabouts, keystrokes and productivity may also violate discrimination laws, the head of a US enforcement agency said.
Charlotte Burroughs, chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), told The Associated Press that the agency is trying to educate employers and technology providers about these safety tools, monitoring, as well as the use of AI tools that can improve assessment tasks. Let’s organize. employment prospects.
And if they don’t, see, for example, rigid scheduling algorithms that penalize breaks for pregnant women or Muslims who take time to pray, or faulty software designed to test graduates of women’s colleges or the historically black. If they allow that, they can’t blame AI when the EEOC intervenes.
Burroughs said, “I have no qualms about using our enforcement authority when necessary.” “We want to work with employers, but certainly not exempt from civil rights laws because they engage in discrimination in some form of high technology.”
The federal agency issued its latest guidance on Thursday on the use of automated systems to make employment decisions, such as who to hire or promote. It explains how to interpret the key provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion or sex, including prejudice against gay, lesbian and transgender workers. Are included.
Burroughs said an important example involves the widely used curriculum evaluators and whether they can produce biased results if they are based on biased data.
“What would happen is that there’s an algorithm that looks for patterns that reflect patterns that you’re already familiar with,” he said. “You will be trained on the data you get from your current employees. And if you currently have a non-diverse employee pool, you may inadvertently exclude people who don’t look like your current employees.