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The Work Week with Bassford Remele
August 28, 2023
Welcome to another edition of The Work Week with Bassford Remele. Each Monday morning, we will publish and send a new article to your inbox to hopefully assist you in jumpstarting your work week.
Bassford Remele Employment Practice Group
The EEOC Penalizes an Employer for Utilizing AI in the Application Process
Shannon E. Eckman
EEOC v. iTutorGroup, Inc., et al.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) settled its first anti-discrimination case involving AI in the workplace. The EEOC had filed suit in the Eastern District of New York against iTutorGroup, an English-language online tutoring company that was using an AI-powered hiring selection tool.
The AI tool automatically rejected female applicants over the age of 55 and male applicants over the age of 60. This was discovered when an applicant, who was first rejected from iTutorGroup, resubmitted their resume with a younger birthdate. The EEOC filed suit alleging age and gender discrimination on behalf of over 200 applicants.
Not long after the filing, iTutorGroup denied the allegations but entered into a voluntary settlement with the EEOC. The settlement included a payment of $365,000 to distribute among the applicants unlawfully rejected, and iTutorGroup agreed to adopt antidiscrimination policies and conduct employee trainings to assist in EEO compliance. The company must also reconsider all applicants who were rejected because of their age.
Lessons Learned for Employers Moving Forward
AI tools are often used for selecting candidates, done in a facially neutral automated system with respect to age, race, gender, and other protected classes. Even if an employer may not intend to exclude a protected class, there is still the risk of disparate impact claims. Beyond these claims, EEOC enforcement actions will be applying existing legal frameworks to AI tools. Employers should audit these tools to ensure EEO compliance.
With the rise of AI technology and its implementation in the workplace, the EEOC recently launched the Artificial Intelligence and Algorithmic Fairness Initiative. EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows made the following statement in a press release regarding the iTutorGroup settlement:
According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, roughly 79% of employers use some form of AI in their recruitment and hiring process. Does this include you, too? Employers using AI in the hiring and recruitment process should be cautioned and ensure that the AI they utilize does not result in intentional or unintentional discrimination.
Women’s Leadership Summit: Reframing the Alpha Female
Bassford Remele proudly announces its Second Women's Leadership Summit. Join us for an invigorating discussion with Minnesota women business leaders.
Our panelists will discuss what it means to be an "alpha female." Through this discussion, the panel will explore the conventional perceptions of women in leadership positions. What is working? What isn't? How can we dismantle the misconceptions, limitations, and often damaging tropes and stereotypes surrounding powerful women and reframe what it means to be an "alpha female?"
1.50 CLE credits will be applied for in Minnesota and Wisconsin
DATE Tuesday, September 12, 2023 | Registration and Networking: 2:30-3:00 pm Summit: 3:00 – 4:30 pm Networking: 4:30 – 5:30 pm
LOCATION The Grand 1858 at Minneapolis Event Centers, 212 Second Street SE, Minneapolis (Complimentary Parking)
RSVP HERE or contact Janet Nelson, Marketing Director, email@example.com or 612.376.1656
DRESS FOR SUCCESS Bassford will be hosting a donation drive for Dress for Success, which believes in empowering every woman through employment. Dress for Success offers high touch, high impact career and workplace skills development programs for low income women to help them achieve career advancement, career stability and economic stability. Donations can be brought to the summit.
The Work Week with Bassford Remele, 8/28/23 (print version)
Bassford Remele proudly serves as local and national counsel for many major corporations and Fortune 500 Companies and is a go-to litigation firm representing local, national, and international clients in state and federal courts across the region.
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