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Artificial Intelligence used by NYC to Audit Employers

The New York City Council enacted a resolution in November 2021 – Int. No. 1894-A – requiring Employers who utilise artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of an automated decision tool to promote or screen job applications to do a “bias audit” once a year. On January 2, 2023, the local law will go into force. The bill also mandates that candidates and workers be informed about the use of automated Employers decision tools for hiring and promotion, as well as the job qualities and traits that the tool considers.

Civil penalties of $500 for first-time infractions and up to $1,500 for recurrent crimes would be imposed on violators. A junk email filter, firewall, antivirus software, calculator, spreadsheet, database, data set, or other compilation is a “automated Employers decision tool” that automates, supports, substantially assists, or replaces discretionary decision-making processes that materially influences natural individuals.

The “bias audit” would be an unbiased assessment by an independent auditor that would include, but not be limited to, testing of an automated Employers decision tool to assess the tool’s disparate impact on protected persons and to see if the AI tool discriminates on the basis of race, sex, or other protected categories. The Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a government body that oversees federal laws banning discrimination, initiated a programme in October 2021 to ensure that AI technologies used in hiring and other decisions conform with the agency’s federal civil rights legislation.

Background screening services are provided by Employers Screening Resources (ESR), a service offering of ClearStar, a leading provider of Human Capital IntegritySM technology-based services, to assist companies in making informed hiring decisions on job prospects.

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