An Oxymoron or a Road Map? US Department of Labor’s Artificial Intelligence and Worker Well-Being | Epstein Becker Green

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Might 16, 2024 steering, Artificial Intelligence and Worker Well-Being: Principles for Developers and Employers, revealed in response to the mandates of Executive Order 14110 (EO 14110) (Government Order on the Secure, Safe, and Reliable Improvement and Use of Artificial Intelligence), weighs the advantages and dangers of an AI-augmented office and establishes Ideas to observe that endeavor to make sure the accountable and clear use of AI.

The DOL’s publication of these Ideas follows within the footsteps of the EEOC and the OFCCP’s current steering on AI within the office and mirrors, in vital respects, the letter and spirit of their pronouncements. 

Whereas not “exhaustive,” the Ideas” must be thought-about throughout the entire lifecycle of AI” from ”design to improvement, testing, coaching, deployment and use, oversight, and auditing.”  Though the DOL intends the Ideas to use to all enterprise sectors, the steering notes that not all Ideas will apply to the identical extent in each business or office, and thus must be reviewed and custom-made primarily based on organizational context and enter from staff.

Whereas not outlined within the Ideas, EO 14110 defines synthetic intelligence as set forth in 15 U.S.C. 9401(3): “A machine-based system that may, for a given set of human-defined targets, make predictions, suggestions, or choices influencing actual or digital environments.  Artificial intelligence techniques use machine- and human-based inputs to understand actual and digital environments; summary such perceptions into fashions by way of evaluation in an automatic method; and use mannequin inference to formulate choices for data or motion.” 

Good Information and Dangerous Information of AI

The DOL notes that implementation of AI within the office will create demand for staff to achieve new expertise and spur coaching to discover ways to use AI of their day-to-day work. As well as, the steering notes that AI can even proceed creating new jobs, together with these targeted on the event, deployment, and human oversight of AI. 

As the steering warns, nonetheless, AI-augmented work additionally poses dangers to staff, together with the loss of autonomy and route over their work and a potential decline in job high quality:  “The dangers of AI for staff are larger if it undermines staff’ rights, embeds bias and discrimination in decision-making processes, or makes consequential office choices with out transparency, human oversight and overview.” Furthermore, in its closing dire prediction, the steering notes that the use of office AI additionally dangers displacing staff from their jobs.

The Ideas  

The DOL posits the next Ideas to employers to maximise the advantages of AI whereas minimizing the dangers of its implementation:

  1. Worker Involvement: Guarantee staff, particularly from minority teams, should not solely knowledgeable concerning the use of AI however have “real enter within the design, improvement, testing, coaching, use and oversight of AI techniques” used within the office. 
  2.  Moral AI Improvement: Design and deploy AI techniques to safeguard staff. This Precept could be understood to imply that AI techniques shouldn’t be biased or create algorithmic modeling which will end in disparate therapy of protected people or in any other case hurt staff.
  3.   AI Governance and Oversight: Set up clear, communicated procedures and oversight for office AI.
  4.  Clear AI Use: Employers should overtly talk their use of AI to staff and candidates for employment. Whereas the DOL doesn’t elaborate on this Precept, employers ought to present candidates and staff with discover on employment functions, firm web sites, and/or worker handbooks of the use of AI. 
  5. Defending Employees’ Rights: Guarantee AI techniques respect staff’ rights. This can be learn together with rights established underneath any relevant union or employment contracts in addition to relevant regulation. 
  6. Empowering Employees with AI: Use AI to empower and improve job high quality for staff.  The AI instrument or system ought to “help,” “allow” and “complement,” work, moderately than substitute staff typically or negate human oversight.
  7. Supporting Employees Impacted by AI: Help and practice staff throughout AI-related job adjustments.
  8. Accountable Worker Knowledge Use: Reduce knowledge collected, used, or created by AI techniques. Use of such knowledge must be “solely” to assist “official enterprise goals” and dealt with and secured responsibly. 


The Ideas should not enforceable regulatory mandates, however are more likely to be thought-about by the DOL in investigatory endeavors in response to an applicant or worker grievance with regard to the event or deployment of AI within the office and actually might come into account in negotiated collective bargaining, as each worker and union representatives will take specific word of these Ideas as regulatory guideposts. 

Can We Assist?

Ought to you may have any questions relating to this submit or search additional data relating to office deployment of AI, please name upon anyone of the authors of this submit or the EBG legal professional with whom it’s possible you’ll work. 

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