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Developments in artificial intelligence can support the hiring process for all employers, including the country’s largest, the federal government. But those technologies could perpetuate bias in who gets hired for which jobs. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has a new initiative to ensure those tools comply with civil rights laws.

  • Charlotte Burrows, chair of the EEOC, said there have been clear examples where artificial intelligence tools, which employers use for things like screening and selecting job applicants, have unintentionally discriminated against women or demonstrated other forms of bias.
  • With 83% of U.S. employers now using artificial intelligence in the hiring process, the EEOC’s initiative provides education and product design assistance to employers, Burrows said.
  • Employees who feel they have been discriminated against can file a charge online through the EEOC or go to their agency’s EEO office, and the commission will investigate the complaint and take action, Burrows said.
  • She said workplace harassment charges have not dropped off during the pandemic and that online harassment is a serious problem.
  • The EEOC provides technical assistance to the entire executive branch to advance the Biden administration’s diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility goals, said Burrows.
  • She said it is exciting that many organizations now have mission and value statements addressing diversity as the country wrestles with inequality issues.

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January 2022
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