The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – a United States government agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – has published a notice in the Federal Register for its “Draft Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for 2023-2027” that focuses on the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) by employers in hiring decisions.
Published on January 10, 2023, the EEOC’s Draft SEP for 2023-2027 will combat employment discrimination and promote inclusive workplaces by, among other changes, recognizing the “increasing use of automated systems, including artificial intelligence or machine learning, to target job advertisements, recruit applicants, and make or assist in hiring decisions.”
The EEOC will focus on recruitment and hiring practices and policies that discriminate against workers that include “the use of automated systems, including artificial intelligence or machine learning, to target job advertisements, recruit applicants, or make or assist in hiring decisions where such systems intentionally exclude or adversely impact protected groups.”
To protect racial, ethnic, and religious groups, older workers, women, LGBTQI+ individuals, and disabled people, the EEOC will focus on “screening tools or requirements that disproportionately impact workers based on their protected status, including those facilitated by artificial intelligence or other automated systems, pre-employment tests, and background checks.”
The EEOC will also focus on technology that contributes to discrimination such as “software that incorporates algorithmic decision-making or machine learning, including artificial intelligence; use of automated recruitment, selection, or production and performance management tools; or other existing or emerging technological tools used in employment decisions.”
The purpose of the EEOC’s SEP is to focus and coordinate the agency’s work over a multiple fiscal year (FY) period to have a sustained impact in advancing equal employment opportunity. The EEOC is seeking public comments on its Draft SEP for 2023-2027 as part of its strategic planning process. Comments from the public must be received by February 9, 2023.
In addition, the EEOC will hold a hearing about “Navigating Employment Discrimination in AI and Automated Systems: A New Civil Rights Frontier” on January 31, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time at the EEOC Headquarters in Washington, DC. The hearing is open to the public and will also be held as a live-streamed videoconference. To register, click here.
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is a service offering of ClearStar, a leading Human Resources technology company specializing in background checks, drug testing, and occupational health screening. ClearStar offers criminal background checks that comply with EEOC guidance on the use of criminal records by employers. To learn more, contact ClearStar.
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