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EEOC releases assistance document on AI and Title VII

With a focus on preventing discrimination against job seekers and workers, the EEOC has issued a technical assistance document entitled, “Assessing Adverse Impact in Software, Algorithms, and Artificial Intelligence Used in Employment Selection Procedures Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

The document discusses the application of key provisions of Title VII to an employer’s use of automated systems, including ones that involve artificial intelligence (AI).

Employers are increasingly using automated systems, including AI functionality, to help them with a wide range of employment matters, such as selecting new employees, monitoring performance, and determining pay or promotions.

“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,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows. “This new technical assistance document will aid employers and tech developers as they design and adopt new technologies.”

The new document discusses “adverse impact” to help employers ensure they are using AI only in non-discriminatory ways. It expands upon prior EEOC documents, including a technical assistance on AI and the Americans with Disabilities Act and a joint agency pledge.

The document answers questions employers and tech developers may have about how Title VII applies to automated systems in employment decisions and guides employers in determining whether these systems may 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 latest EEOC technical assistance document is part of the agency’s Artificial Intelligence and Algorithmic Fairness Initiative, which focused on making sure that software used in hiring and other employment decisions complies with federal civil rights laws.