It is certainly no debate that in recent years there have been leaps and bounds in technology creation. From self-driving electric cars to help desk chat bots, automation is integrating itself into everyday life. Talent searching is not immune to this practice. Employers are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) tools to review resumes and screen job applicants. Using AI for talent acquisitions frees up time for recruiters but comes with risks.
Recently the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued guidance for using AI tools in the workplace. By using AI to filter through applicants, employers may be violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The guidance cited three of the most common ways ADA rights could be violated.
• The employer does not provide a “reasonable accommodation” that is necessary for a job applicant or employee to be rated fairly and accurately by the algorithm.
• The employer relies on an algorithmic decision-making tool that intentionally or unintentionally “screens out” an individual with a disability, even though that individual is able to do the job with a reasonable accommodation. “Screen out” occurs when a disability prevents a job applicant or employee from meeting—or lowers their performance on—a selection criterion, and the applicant or employee loses a job opportunity as a result.
• The employer adopts an algorithmic decision-making tool for use with its job applicants or employees that violates the ADA’s restrictions on disability related inquiries and medical examinations.
Employers can be held liable whether an AI-related ADA violation is intentional or not. The Department of Justice released further guidance on the potential for unintentional discrimination when using AI in the hiring/recruiting process.
While AI streamlines the screening process for potential employees, employers should note the risks for discrimination. For questions contact our HR Consulting & Training experts.