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Employers may inadvertently violate the Americans with Disabilities Act if they use artificial intelligence to assess job applicants and employees, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission warns in a technical assistance document issued Thursday.
The most common ways employers may do is by not providing a “reasonable accommodation”; using an algorithmic-decision-making tool that “screens out” individuals with disabilities; and using such tools to violate ADA’s restrictions on disability-related inquiries and medical examinations.
The document says employers are responsible under the ADA for their use of these tools if they are administered by other entities, such as software vendors.
Steps the EEOC recommends to reduce the chances of screening out someone because of a disability are: making sure the user interface is accessible to as many individuals with disabilities as possible; presenting materials in alternative formats; and determining whether the algorithm disadvantages individuals with disabilities.
The document also says the tool used by the employer should indicate the availability of reasonable accommodations; provide clear instructions for requesting reasonable accommodations in advance of the assessment; and provide all applicants and employees with as much information about the tool as possible.