Although it is a greater focus of attention, employment discrimination continues to be a problem in North Carolina and across the United States. This is true despite attempts by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and other regulatory and enforcement agencies to hold employers accountable for wrongdoing and put a stop to it. One issue that is garnering increased attention from the EEOC is how employers might be using advanced technologies to find workers and discriminate against certain parts of the population because of it. Workers should know about this understated issue as it can be useful when they believe they have faced employment violations and want to pursue a case.
How artificial intelligence and algorithms might spark discrimination
A recently announced initiative from the EEOC stated its plans to look more closely at how algorithms and artificial intelligence impacts employment decisions. Plans for this began in around 2016 as public meetings discussed how big data could influence a workplace. At a conference, the commissioner of the EEOC told employers that algorithms they might be using could place them in jeopardy of committing discrimination. Whether it is intentional or not, it could be the basis for discrimination claims.
For example, employment advertisements based on micro targeting (strategies to appeal to certain segments of society) could be a discriminatory act. Although employers might claim that they are simply trying to find the best candidate for the job, the use of algorithms and artificial intelligence might result in a lack of fairness that excludes people based on biases that mimic those the advancements are specifically trying to prevent. The fundamental goal is for objectivity in the hiring, retention, promotion and overall employment process. If that is hindered by technology, then it could be the basis for a complaint.
For employment problems, the entire case should be scrutinized
Employment discrimination can happen at any time from the application process to having the job and facing mistreatment and dismissal. That can be due to religion, age, national origin, race, sexual orientation, gender identity and more. Employee rights are still being violated even with more attention paid to how workers are treated in the current climate. People who believe they have faced this challenge should be aware of their options and have a full investigation as to what happened. Discussing the case with those experienced in employment law can be helpful from the start.