NYC Bill Would Regulate Use of Automated Decision-Making Technologies in the Employment Context

February 28, 2020

New York City is considering legislation that would establish notification requirements for use of automated tools in employment-related decisions and prohibit the sale of such tools unless they have passed a bias audit within the last year.

Candidate notice required:  Any person who uses an automated employment decision tool to screen a candidate for an employment decision would be required, within 30 days, to notify the candidate: 

  • That a covered automated employment decision tool was used in connection with his or her candidacy; and

  • The job qualifications or characteristics that the tool was used to assess in the candidate.

Any covered automated service would be required to undergo an impartial bias audit within the year prior to selling or offering for sale the tool.

An HR Policy statement to a congressional panel examining the issue recommends “a cautious approach that recognizes the constantly changing technological landscape and technology’s potential to help solve diversity and inclusion problems that have historically hindered the workforce from operating at its full potential.”

Why it’s important: Although broadly reported to regulate “AI hiring tools,” the bill covers the use of nearly any “automated” decision tools, including any “whose function is governed by statistical theory”—a broad reach.  With Illinois’ notice measure having gone into effect last month, expect more by way of state legislation on this issue.