Avoid Discriminatory Filters Using AI Tools in Employment Searches

Texas employers who are planning to hire new employees may be considering the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to assist in the hiring process. According to an article in Risk Management, AI technology provides several benefits to employers in many different fields and industries. As that article explains, “some of the applications include employee recruitment and hiring, with AI promising to bring increased efficiency, lower costs, and better candidates to companies that employ technology in recruiting and hiring.” Unfortunately, some AI tools can be discriminatory and may open your business to liability to employment discrimination claims.

One problem with the use of AI tools in your business’s employment searches, is that some of the ways these tools filter candidates may lead to allegations of discriminatory hiring practices. What do you need to know to avoid discriminatory uses of AI when hiring employees? Our Frisco employment law attorneys can tell you more about what you should avoid when using AI in hiring.

Understanding AI Tools in Employment Searches

In order to understand how to avoid certain types of AI tools to prevent allegations of discrimination, it is crucial to learn more about how AI tools are used in employment searches more generally. What are these kinds of AI tools, and what can they do?

There are different types of AI tools that can be used in employment searches and hiring. Some examples include AI tools designed to

  • Identify clients to whom specific employment postings should be advertised.
  • Use algorithms to search applicant resumes or CVs to determine which applicants are qualified for the positions to which they have applied.
  • Analyze a job applicant’s expressions or body language in an interview and connecting that applicant’s expressions or body language to specific characteristics that the employer wants in a new employee.
  • Develop cognitive assessment tests for prospective employees.

How to Avoid Filters That Could Result in Discrimination Allegations

Most of these AI tools have filtering capabilities: — they can select individuals to receive advertisements for a job opening and filter out certain job applicants based on information contained in their resumes. In addition, AI tools can filter out job applicants during the interview process by analyzing facial expressions. These types of filters could lead to allegations of unfair treatment of a job applicant based on characteristics that are protected under the law, or they could result in claims of disparate impact discrimination if the filters result in eliminating swaths of individuals that all fall within a particular protected category.

Specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, and other factors.  The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of age if the job applicant is 40 or older. Using AI to filter out applicants based on any protected characteristic is unlawful. In addition, it is essential to know that not only must any filtering tools be facially neutral, but they can also be unlawful if they have a discriminatory impact.  For example, if you use an AI tool to filter for job applicants who went to specific universities and those universities are primarily made up of male graduates, the filter could be unlawful.

Contact a Frisco Employment Law Attorney

If you are using AI in employment searches or are considering using them, it’s wise to consult a Texas employment law firm. One of our Frisco employment lawyers can work with you to determine whether any AI tools you are using or plan to use could open your business up to liability or a discrimination suit. Contact Simon Paschal PLLC today for help today.

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