EEOC Settles First AI Bias Lawsuit

The EEOC settled its first lawsuit involving artificial intelligence (AI) discrimination in hiring (...

Posted by Allegra Hill on September 5 2023
Allegra Hill

The EEOC settled its first lawsuit involving artificial intelligence (AI) discrimination in hiring (EEOC v. iTutorGroup Inc). iTutorGroup is the brand name for 3 integrating companies that provide English language tutoring services. iTutorGroup was charged with violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and was accused of programming their recruitment software to automatically reject older tutor applicants, specifically, female applicants aged 55 years and older and male applicants aged 60 years and older. According to the lawsuit, iTutorGroup rejected more than 200 qualified applicants due their age.

iTutorGroup Inc. signed a 5-year consent decree that they will pay $365,000 to a group of rejected job seekers that were rejected due to their age. Under the consent decree, iTutorGroup will be prohibited from rejecting tutor applicants on the basis of sex or age and must implement anti-discrimination policies and trainings. Finally, they are required to invite all applicants that were rejected due to their age in March and April of 2020 to reapply. The consent decree is currently pending, awaiting signature in the U.S District Court for the Eastern district of New York.

The EEOC is dedicated to reviewing the use of software, including AI and Machine Learning, that is used in hiring and other employment decisions and in 2021 the EEOC launched the Artificial Intelligence and Algorithmic Fairness Initiative. The EEOC also released a technical assistance document on AI, in an effort to educate employers on how to prevent discrimination when using AI tools for employment decisions. States are also enacting laws that limit the use of AI or require employers to evaluate the AI they are using. For example, New York City requires employers to conduct bias audits on Automated employment decision tools. In an era where AI technologies are increasingly integrated into organizations, it is highly anticipated that more regulations are coming. Employers should identify what regulatory requirements they are subject to and ensure that their hiring practices are unbiased.

Allegra Hill
Allegra Hill
Allegra Hill is a Consultant on the Compensation Services team at Berkshire Associates Inc. With a background in Industrial Organizational Psychology, Allegra uses best practices to advise clients in the area of compensation.

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