EEOC to Tackle Use of Big Data in Employment

Oct 12 2016 - Discrimination - Gail Cecchettini Whaley

big data employment discrimination

Does big data trigger discrimination claims?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a public meeting tomorrow “Big Data in the Workplace: Examining Implications for Equal Employment Opportunity Law.”

In human resources, “big data” may be used during the hiring process. The results of generic personality tests used during the hiring process are run through powerful computer algorithms to determine the likelihood of a potential employee’s performance in the workplace. Or big data can be used to crunch social media profiles, records of employment, online resume profiles and tests.

For current employees, big data can also be used to track, analyze and share employee performance data. For instance, some companies even use wearable technology to track employees when they work to determine how they are spending most of their time.

One legal issue that has been raised regarding big data is whether even neutral big data can lead to discriminatory impact.

EEOC Commissioners will hear from a broad panel of experts on a range of issues, including:

  • Big data trends and technologies;
  • The benefits and risks of big data analytics, current and potential uses of big data in employment; and
  • How the use of big data may implicate equal employment opportunity laws.

Gail Cecchettini Whaley, CalChamber Employment Law Counsel/Content

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