EEOC Chair Jenny Yang ’96 discusses Big Data’s effects on personnel decisions in Center for Labor and Employment Law keynote

Jenny Yang '96, Samuel Estreicher, Zev Eigen, and Pauline Kim

At the Center for Labor and Employment Law’s discussion “Artificial Intelligence & Employment Law: ‘People Analytics’ & ‘Big Data’ in Personnel Decisions,” panelists focused on the legal considerations surrounding the growing application of predictive analytics to hiring and placement.

Samuel Estreicher, Dwight D. Opperman Professor of Law and director of the Center for Labor and Employment Law, introduced US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chair Jenny Yang ’96. Yang talked in her keynote address about the EEOC’s examination of the increasing use of Big Data—vast amounts of information aggregated and analyzed by computers to uncover patterns and associations—in organizations’ selection procedures.

“We know at the EEOC that the use of Big Data and artificial intelligence is fundamentally changing how employment decisions are made,” said Yang. “What we are doing right now is considering how do we best apply our existing antidiscrimination protections to this area.” Simultaneously, she said, the EEOC recognizes the importance of promoting innovation in the use of Big Data to affect personnel decisions for the better by, for example, improving targeted recruitment of minority candidates.

Following Yang’s remarks, Zev Eigen, global director of data analytics at Littler Mendelson and founder of Cherry Tree Data Science, looked at the application of analytics in hiring ex-convicts, and Professor Pauline Kim outlined the potential discriminatory effects of Big Data.

Watch part 1 of the event (1 hr, 12 min):

Watch part 2 of the event (1 hr, 20 min):

Posted November 3, 2016