Many organizations use job application screening and hiring tools that rely on artificial intelligence (AI) during the application stage of onboarding new talent, as well as employee and performance monitoring technology post-hire.

However, these tools could result in unlawful discrimination against people with disabilities, according to documents from the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

AI in hiring technology

Some uses of AI in hiring and employee screening tools may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), according to the DoJ. AI that compares job candidates to current employees to identify new hires can perpetuate the exclusion of people with disabilities from a workplace, or a hiring tool that requires facial or voice analysis could screen out someone with a speech impairment or autism, says the DoJ.

Preventing discrimination against people with disabilities

Organizational leaders can avoid ADA violations and discriminatory practices by making clear the availability of reasonable accommodations to candidates with disabilities, training staff to rate job applications in inclusive ways, and quickly processing accommodation requests, according to the EEOC. 

“New technologies should not become new ways to discriminate. If employers are aware of the ways AI and other technologies can discriminate against persons with disabilities, they can take steps to prevent it,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows.