Every few years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) presents a multi-year plan describing updates to its subject matter priorities and strategies that will shape its enforcement efforts in the years ahead. The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) is encouraged that the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan for Fiscal Years 2023-2027 (SEP) specifically names discriminatory tech practices among the EEOC’s key focus areas.
CDT submitted comments welcoming the SEP’s explicit recognition of tech’s influence in targeted job advertising, recruitment, and hiring decisions among the EEOC’s top priorities to protect marginalized workers facing numerous barriers to job security. We are also encouraged that the draft SEP affirms the EEOC will build on recent guidance by addressing inaccessible application processes and qualification standards that discriminate against disabled workers.
This attention to tech signals the next phase in the EEOC’s commitment to algorithmic fairness. To ensure the EEOC maximizes the scope of its enforcement authority, CDT recommends that the final SEP also emphasize the need for guidance on how employers should examine the validity of their selection tools. The final SEP should also extend to algorithmic management tools used in the workplace, as certain tech can continue to harm workers even after they get the job.
Finally, the EEOC should offer guidance to employers on how it will apply Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and other employment discrimination laws to algorithmic bias.