Sometimes tools led by technology can have alarming effects.
Bloomberg Law reports that Workday Inc.’s artificial intelligence systems and screening tools are under fire for allegedly excluding Black applicants at disproportionate rates.
In a new lawsuit, Derek Mobley will represent applicants who have been affected by Workday systems that have allegedly not only discriminated against job seekers who are Black but also those with a disability or who are over 40.
Mobley, a Black man who is over age 40 and open in his struggles with anxiety and depression, alleged that he applied to about 80 to 100 positions for companies that use Workday as a screening tool.
Per the suit, he revealed that he has been actively applying since 2018, yet has continuously been denied employment although he holds both a bachelor’s degree in finance and an associate’s degree in network systems administration.
The Products In Question
According to court documents, Workday’s widespread screening products “constitute a pattern and practice of discrimination.” Furthermore, Mobley believed that the company marketed those same tools despite the knowledge that they discriminated against him and fellow class members, violating the Age Discrimination Act.
At this time, Mobley is looking for a remedy that would restrain Workday from engaging in the alleged acts.
“The Representative Plaintiff seeks …injunctive relief which reforms Workday’s screening products, policies, practices, and procedures so that the Representative Plaintiff and the class members will be able to compete fairly in the future for jobs and enjoy terms and conditions of employment traditionally afforded similarly situated employees outside of the protected categories,” read the lawsuit.
On the opposite end, Workday has deemed the legal action to be completely unwarranted, with a spokesperson for the company stating that they are “committed to trustworthy AI.”
Furthermore, a representative noted that the organization acts “responsibly and transparently in the design and delivery” of the AI resources it uses.
“We engage in a risk-based review process throughout our product lifecycle to help mitigate any unintended consequences, as well as extensive legal reviews to help ensure compliance with regulations,” said the spokesperson for Workday.