Employers must keep up with changes in local, state and federal employment laws. Those who do not can wind up facing costly, demanding legal battles rather than focusing on running their business.
For instance, if you are an employer in New York City, you should know that this time next year, the rules regarding the use of automated tools to make employment decisions will change.
What is changing?
New legislation set to go into effect in January 2023 restricts the use of tools designed to automate employment decisions by NYC employers and employment agencies.
The tools in question use artificial intelligence, statistical modeling, or other automated processes to generate recommendations for employment decisions such as hiring and promotions. These systems substantially or entirely replace discretionary employment decision-making.
Automated systems have come under fire because they can facilitate or introduce biases against specific job candidates and employees.
For that reason, NYC will require that these tools undergo a bias audit within one year prior to each use. The audit must be an impartial investigation performed by a neutral party. Another requirement will be that employers notify job candidates or existing workers if they are using automated decision tools.
How can we prepare?
Being aware of the upcoming requirements is crucial to preparing appropriately.
If you currently use automated systems or are considering it, you have the time and opportunity now to assess your options for the future. Will you continue to use authorized tools or explore alternatives? Have you made arrangements for a bias audit? Are you willing to comply with notification requirements if you do decide to use automated decision tools?
Part of a larger picture
Automated employment decision tools are just one e way in which systems can lead to bias against categories of workers, in which in turn can give rise to discrimination claims.
While assessing your use of automated employment decision tools is necessary if you are an employer in NYC, now would also be a good time to review other employment policies to minimize your exposure to discrimination accusations. Experienced employment attorneys can help you analyze your risks and take corrective action.