Written by
Holistic AI
AI Ethics,Governance
June 17th, 2022
Overview and Commentary of the California Workplace Technology Accountability Act
Screenshot of the pre-print on SSRN

Abstract. Technology and the resulting automation are increasingly being applied in the workplace in a variety of contexts and while this can remove or lessen the burden of tedious and time-consuming tasks, the workplace is a high-risk context where employment-related decisions can majorly impact a worker’s life. Consequently, a number of ethical concerns with automated employment decision systems have been raised, with California proposing the Workplace Technology Accountability Act to limit the use of electronic monitoring systems and automated decision systems to specific times of day, activities and locations that must be proven as essential job functions and gives workers the right to know, review and correct data held about them by their employer. In this article, we provide a summary and discussion of the key points of the legislation before providing a commentary, where we identify four key themes: i) the creation of boundaries that can contribute to a healthy work-life balance and protect the privacy of workers; ii) how the requirement for impact assessments of automated decision tools and worker information systems reflects the wider movement towards algorithmic assurance; iii) the necessary and potentially problematic requirement to share notices and impact assessment reports with the Labor Agency; and iv) how the proposed legislation might conflict with existing law while not exempting smaller businesses. Our intended readership is those interested in the regulation of automated employment decision tools, algorithmic assurance, and employers and workers in California affected by the proposed legislation.

Link: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4135237

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