In a first, US penalizes Chinese firm using AI recruitment tools

US to ensure that AI software used by employers comply with anti-discrimination laws.
Sejal Sharma
Representational image of recruitment
Representational image of recruitment

ArLawKa AungTun/iStock 

In what is being seen as a reminder for using artificial intelligence illegally in businesses and marking the first settlement against AI-powered recruitment tools in the US, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has settled a dispute with a Chinese online education platform.

iTutorGroup was accused in 2020 of using AI tools for discriminatory tactics in recruiting processes, such as separating older job applicants from young ones. iTutorGroup hires online teachers for various subjects, including English, math, science, and more.

US serious about tackling the AI recruiting problem

In its charge sheet from 2022, the EOCC said, “Three integrated companies providing English-language tutoring services to students in China under the “iTutorGroup” brand name violated federal law by programming its online recruitment software to automatically reject older applicants because of their age.”

The enforcement agency launched an initiative in 2021 to ensure that AI software used by US employers complies with anti-discrimination laws. The EEOC has warned that it will focus enforcement efforts on companies that misuse AI, as per a report by Economic Times.

As per the settlement, ITutorGroup will now pay $365,000 to over 200 ‘older’ job applicants whose profiles were allegedly passed over because of their age, according to a joint filing made in New York federal court, reported Reuters.

The company rejected females above 55 and males above 60

ITutorGroup's software was engineered to reject female applicants aged above 55 automatically and male applicants above 60. This violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The settlement includes back pay and liquidated damages.

According to a report, another company filed a similar lawsuit against them, alleging that they developed an AI-powered software that helps other companies weed out applicants who are Black, old, or disabled. Workday was first sued by Derek Mobley, a Black man over 40 who suffers from anxiety and depression. Since 2018, Mobley has applied for 80-100 positions at companies that use Workday as a recruitment screening tool.

Automated AI systems, specially designed to help a firm’s HR team, must be fair and safe. Companies like Accenture and Lloyds Banking Group have already incorporated virtual reality games and techniques in their hiring processes. And with the advent of AI, a report by Aptitude Research has said that 55% of companies are increasing their investment in recruitment automation.

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board