Angela Reddock-Wright smiling at the National Bar Association Commercial Law Section Corporate Counsel Conference in San Antonio, Texas where she discussed the developing laws around the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workplace, including the EEOC’s recent guidance to employers and employees on this topic. These issues are exemplified by the recent CVS discrimination lawsuit.As we continue to develop new and innovative technology in the use of AI, we also see new laws developed alongside it to regulate its usage and protect both employees and employers. Still, both the technology and the laws regulating it are in their infancy, and we will see them continue to evolve alongside each other for years to come. 

A recent AI discrimination lawsuit involving CVS made waves in the press. Recent surveys have discovered approximately 80% of U.S. employers and nearly all Fortune 500 companies use AI in the hiring process, so we are sure to see an increase in alleged AI discrimination cases as the waves of this CVS discrimination lawsuit ripple across the legislature that governs AI usage in hiring. 

Let’s review this landmark case and its potential impact on the public in what is effectively one of the first cases to address the rapidly emerging legal issues created by businesses using AI-fueled hiring software.

About the Recent CVS AI Discrimination Lawsuit

CVS has recently made headlines as they are at the center of a monumental AI discrimination lawsuit

This suit is poised to shape the laws governing how AI is used in the hiring process, especially when considering how automation can lead to alleged discriminatory practices that impact employees and employers alike. 

This CVS AI discrimination lawsuit was filed by Plaintiff Brendan Baker, and it accuses CVS of violating Massachusetts laws that forbids employers from subjecting applicants to lie detector tests and failing to inform him of his statutory rights.

In the ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris rejected CVS’s request to dismiss the claim that the company failed to supply the required notice about the state law banning lie detector tests per the federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA), enacted in 1988. 

Brendan claims that when he applied for a supply chain job, the notice failed to inform him that Massachusetts law does not allow requiring or administering lie detector tests for employment purposes. Let’s get into the potential implications of this suit. 

Related Article: AI in the Workplace Series – AI Regulations Take Shape in CA with Supreme Court Expansion of “Employer” Definition

What Does Brendan Baker’s New AI Discrimination Lawsuit Assert?

At the center of this AI discrimination lawsuit is a video interview technology called HireVue that CVS allegedly used to screen and assess job applicants. According to court documents, applicants were recorded answering a series of questions, such as:

  • What does integrity mean to you?
  • What would you do if you saw someone cheating on a test?

This video was then analyzed by an AI tool that allegedly used “facial expressions, eye contact, voice intonation, and inflection” to determine the candidate’s cultural fit, raising issues regarding automated employment decisions. 

Under the EPPA, Massachusetts laws define a lie detector test as any “device, mechanism, or written examination” that is used to help “or enable the detection of deception.” Several major corporations use HireVue’s video-interviewing platform, such as the Boston Red Sox, Delta Air Lines, and T-Mobile.

The lawsuit alleges that HireVue states that it can detect if applicants have “an innate sense of integrity of honor,” detect lies, and weed out embellishers, but Brendan claims he was unaware and would not have participated if he knew about the EPPA. 

While CVS has argued that Brendan failed to demonstrate substantial damages resulting from this incident, the judge ruled that Brendan has legal standing to bring the suit.

The CVS AI discrimination lawsuit exemplifies the emerging discourse and debate surrounding companies’ increased use of AI algorithms to screen and evaluate job applicants. Critics argue that these tools are unproven and prone to bias.

Civil rights groups in particular have warned about the possibility of discrimination when relying on AI hiring tools and evaluations that can silently embed race, gender, and other illegal biases, and many experts are demanding greater transparency, accountability, and regulation surrounding AI tools in this context.

We are not yet sure of the outcome of this case or cases like it, but it is clear that the law is evolving in the area of AI and the workplace and that both employees and employers alike must stay ahead of the curve in understanding these issues. As a mediator, I look forward to mediating cases that raise issues on the use of AI in the workplace – it is certainly a new area of law that will carve new grounds.  

I recently had the honor of joining an all-star team of respected panelists at the National Bar Association Commercial Law Section (NBA-CLS) for the recent 37th Annual Corporate Counsel Conference in San Antonio to share my extensive expertise and discuss this issue as an AI thought leader and speaker on artificial intelligence in the workplace, as well as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) recent guidance to employers and employees on this topic! 

Related Article: AI in the Workplace Series – Regulations Evolve for AI Hiring Practices & the Potential Impact of AI on Employment Law Mediations

Thought Leader & Speaker on AI Discrimination Lawsuits

Understanding the recent shifts in laws regarding AI in the workplace and their consequences is not a luxury. It is essential for businesses to have a firm grasp on these law changes that govern commercial AI usage to ensure they are implementing it compliantly in every aspect of operations to avoid costly mistakes, including upholding fair and equitable hiring and firing processes when using artificial intelligence to automate decision-making. As an AI thought leader and speaker on artificial intelligence in the workplace with ample experience and knowledge in this area of employment law, I am uniquely positioned and qualified to provide expert insight and analysis on all issues AI in the workplace and what we can expect as these changes continue to unfold. These issues can be complex, so you need a seasoned legal professional to shed light on them. 

Angela Reddock-Wright: AI Thought Leader and Speaker on Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace

I am a former employment and labor law attorney turned mediator, ADR, and conflict resolution specialist who believes it is crucial to stay current with groundbreaking changes to employment law for employees and employers alike. My passion is educating the general public on recent developments in employment law and the workplace trends that impact them. My more than 20 years of experience as a media legal analyst and contributor have led to my own radio show on Tavis Smiley’s KBLA Talk 1580, “Legal Lens with Angela Reddock.” I also am a regular speaker and blogger on employment law and issues related to the workplace.

 

 

 

Also, learn more about my book – The Workplace Transformed: 7 Crucial Lessons from the Global Pandemic – here – https://angelareddock-wright.com/book/.

For media inquiries, please reach out to josh@kwsmdigital.com.

For more information regarding mediation and dispute resolution resources for both employees and employers, connect with let’s connect on LinkedIn for new updates or contact me here. You may also follow me on Instagram.

This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.

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