The Practical Employment Law Podcast: Artificial Intelligence and Employment Law

Most people have read about artificial intelligence in the media and many have tried out programs like ChatGPT. Some have even used such programs at school or at work. This raises a question of what employment law issues are implicated by the use of AI. To find out, I asked ChatGPT the following question: “What employment law issues are raised by use of artificial intelligence programs?” ChatGPT dutifully produced a list of seven (7) issues, which I will comment on in this episode. 

Here is the list:

  1. Discrimination: AI algorithms can unintentionally perpetuate or even amplify biases present in the data they are trained on. If AI is used in recruitment, performance evaluation, or promotion decisions, there is a risk of discriminatory outcomes based on protected characteristics such as race, gender, or age. Employers must ensure that AI systems are designed and monitored to prevent unlawful discrimination.
  2. Privacy and Data Protection: AI often requires access to vast amounts of data, including personal information about employees. Collecting, processing, and storing this data must comply with relevant data protection laws and regulations. Employers need to establish safeguards to protect employee privacy and ensure transparency regarding the collection and use of personal data.
  3. Employee Monitoring: AI technologies can enable extensive monitoring and surveillance of employees. This raises concerns about the invasion of privacy and the need to strike a balance between legitimate business interests and employee rights. Laws and regulations regarding employee monitoring, such as consent requirements and notice obligations, may apply.
  4. Job Displacement and Retraining: The adoption of AI can lead to automation and job displacement. Employment laws may come into play when determining how to handle workforce reductions, including obligations to provide notice, severance pay, and support for retraining or redeployment of affected employees.
  5. Fairness and Transparency: The use of AI in employment decisions can raise concerns about the lack of transparency and the difficulty in understanding how certain outcomes are reached. Employees have the right to understand the basis for decisions affecting their employment, and employers should ensure that AI systems are explainable and provide justifiable results.
  6. Intellectual Property: If AI programs are developed in-house, intellectual property rights may arise. Employers and employees should clarify ownership and usage rights through contracts or policies to avoid disputes over the ownership of AI-generated works.
  7. Ethical Considerations: The use of AI raises broader ethical considerations, such as accountability for AI-driven decisions, the impact on job quality, and the potential for algorithmic bias. Employers should consider the ethical implications of using AI in the workplace and establish guidelines for responsible AI deployment.

Listen in to find out whether the AI generated list of concerns about AI in the workplace is valid.

You can listen here.

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