Written by
Holistic AI
NYC mandatory bias audits
July 11th, 2022
10 Things You Need to Know About the NYC Mandatory Bias Audits
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The New York City Council has passed legislation that comes into effect on 1st January 2023 requiring bias audits of automated employment decision tools being used within the city limits. In this blog post, we list the 10 key things you need to know.

1. What is a bias audit?

An impartial evaluation of an automated employment decision tool carried out by an independent auditor that should include (but is not limited to) assessing for disparate impact against category 1 protected characteristics. Employers must provide a summary of this audit on their website if using automated employment decision tools to assess candidates residing in New York City and must inform them of the key features of the automated tool before using it.

2. What is an automated employment decision tool?

A computational process, derived from machine learning, statistical modeling, data analytics, or artificial intelligence that produces a simplified output (a score, classification, or recommendation) used to aid or automate decision making for employment decisions.

3. What are some examples of an automated employment decision tool?

Video interviews, game-based/image-based assessments, and resume screening tools etc. that are scored or evaluated by an algorithm.

4. What documentation do employers have to provide?

Employers using an automated employment decision tool must provide a summary of a current bias audit (< 1 year old) on their website or the website of the Employment agency before using the tool.

5. What are the notification requirements of the legislation?

At least ten working days before the tool is used, candidates must be informed that an automated employment decision tool is being used to assess them and allow them to request an accommodation or alternative selection process. The characteristics that are being used to make the judgments and the source and type of data being used within 30 days of written request. If it is not available on the website of the employer or the Employment Agency.

6. Who does the legislation apply to?

Firms with over 100 employees who are using automated employment decision tools to evaluate candidates or employees who reside in New York City for a position or promotion.

7. Are there penalties for noncompliance?

Up to $500 for the first violation and each additional violation occurring on the same day. Subsequent violations incur penalties of $500 - $1500 per day.

8. Does this affect the civil rights of candidates?

The subchapter should not be construed to limit the rights of any candidate of employee for an employment decision to bring civil action. Therefore, candidates’ civil rights are not affected and other relevant equal employment laws must still be followed by the employer.

9. When does the legislation come into effect?

1st January 2023.

10. Where can I find out more about the legislation?

You can read the legislation here and find our commentary where we discuss some of the shortcomings and areas of ambiguity here.

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