Esther Lander Quoted in Bloomberg Law Article on Use of AI in Screening of Job Candidates

Esther Lander, partner in the labor and employment practice at Akin Gump, has been quoted in the Bloomberg Law article “AI Use to Screen Pandemic Job Seekers Could Lead to Bias Claims.” The article reports that questions are being raised about possible bias in the use of algorithmic hiring tools to screen job applicants during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bloomberg says the tools are meant to offer greater efficiency in filtering out candidates that do not meet certain job-related criteria and to recruit potential hires via their online profiles. The article also says, though, that artificial intelligence-powered facial scanning tools that claim to evaluate who could be a good fit for a role could discriminate against applicants with disabilities. Likewise, resume scanning tools that look for immediate past experience could discriminate against women returning to the workforce from raising children.

The House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services has looked into the issue of protecting workers’ rights in the digital age and Lander is quoted in the article testimony she gave to the subcommittee. “When using any selection tool for hiring, employers need to be aware that seemingly neutral tools can violate anti-discrimination laws if they disproportionately exclude protected classes,” she said.