WASHINGTON – The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Leadership Conference Education Fund and more than 23 civil rights, employment, and privacy organizations today in introducing principles to guide the development, use, auditing, and oversight of hiring assessment technologies. The groups urge policymakers, vendors, and employers to protect the civil rights of working people by ensuring new assessment tools that rely on algorithms and artificial intelligence do not further entrench decades of discrimination. Without guardrails in place, new assessments threaten to perpetuate unjust hiring practices based on race, ethnicity, sex, disability, age, and other factors.

“Artificial intelligence, by its very nature, risks replicating and deepening existing inequities when it relies on data from the current workforce that is not sufficiently representative because of historic discrimination. Hiring assessment technologies must advance equity, not erect artificial barriers to employment. This will require proactive interventions by employers, vendors, and policymakers,” the groups wrote.

The Civil Rights Principles for Hiring Assessment Technologies state that hiring assessments:

  • Should not discriminate
  • Should measure traits and skills that are important to job performance
  • Should be transparent to job applicants
  • Should be thoroughly and regularly audited
  • Should be subject to meaningful oversight by state and federal regulators

The groups note, “Employers already have significant obligations to administer nondiscriminatory hiring processes. Vendors and technology providers will need to play a more prominent role in helping ensure these obligations are met. Government must ensure robust enforcement of existing laws to promote these principles. And policymakers may need to develop new laws and guidance to ensure workers’ rights are protected.”

The signatories and principles are available here.

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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. Whether it’s achieving full equality for LGBT people, establishing new privacy protections for n our digital age of widespread government surveillance, ending mass incarceration, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than 8 million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., to safeguard everyone’s rights. Visit www.aclu.org.

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