The Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) each released a technical assistance document about disability discrimination when employers use artificial intelligence (AI) and other software tools to make employment decisions.
Employers use AI in selecting employees, performance monitoring and determining pay or promotions. Computer software is used to score applicants’ resumes. Many of these tools use algorithms or AI. These tools may result in unlawful discrimination against people with disabilities in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Justice Department’s guidance document, Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Disability Discrimination in Hiring, provides a broad overview of rights and responsibilities in plain language, making it easily accessible to people without a legal or technical background.
“This guidance will help the public understand how an employer’s use of such tools may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, so that people with disabilities know their rights and employers can take action to avoid discrimination.”Attorney General Kristen Clarke
The EEOC released a technical assistance document, The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Use of Software, Algorithms, and Artificial Intelligence to Assess Job Applicants and Employees, focused on preventing discrimination against job seekers and employees with disabilities. Based on the ADA, regulations, and existing policy guidance, this document outlines issues that employers should consider to ensure that the use of software tools in employment does not disadvantage workers or applicants with disabilities in ways that violate the ADA.
“New technologies should not become new ways to discriminate. If employers are aware of the ways AI and other technologies can discriminate against persons with disabilities, they can take steps to prevent it. As a nation, we can come together to create workplaces where all employees are treated fairly. This new technical assistance document will help ensure that persons with disabilities are included in the employment opportunities of the future.”EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows
The DOJ’s guidance and EEOC’s technical assistance document focus on preventing AI and new technologies from becoming barriers for job seekers with disabilities.