DOJ issues guidance for employers on use of AI, algorithms in hiring processes

The Department of Justice today issued guidance on the use of algorithms and artificial intelligence in hiring processes and employers’ responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. DOJ noted that “while these technologies may be useful tools for some employers, they may also result in unlawful discrimination against certain groups of applicants, including people with disabilities,” and that “when designing or choosing hiring technologies, employers must consider how these tools could impact different disabilities.”

According to the guidance, firms should avoid using technologies—including third-party technologies—that discriminate against people with disabilities and ensure that they are not unfairly screening out individuals with disabilities. Additionally, firms should ensure that technologies used to administer tests as part of the hiring process measure “only the relevant skills and abilities of an applicant, rather than reflecting the applicant’s impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills that the tests do not seek to measure.”

The guidance provides several illustrative examples of how an employer could use algorithmic or artificial intelligence technologies in a manner that could violate Title I of the ADA, which is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for private employers. DOJ also reminded employer firms that they are required to provide reasonable accommodations to job applicants with disabilities.

The EEOC also issued guidance in the form of a Q&A document.