December 23, 2022

New York Artificial Intelligence Employment Law Delayed

The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) announced that it will not start enforcing the law regulating automated employment decision tools until at least April 15, 2023. Local Law 144 of 2021 was scheduled to take effect January 1, but the DCWP attributed the delayed enforcement of the law to the high volume of public comments it received addressing its proposed regulations to implement the law. This law is the very first law within the United States squarely and comprehensively addressing the use of AI in making employment decisions. The law requires that before an employer uses an “automated employment decision tool” (AEDT, which is basically AI) that it conduct a bias audit within a year of using the tool, and that certain notices be given to candidates who may be subject to the AEDT, with an option to opt out of the AEDT process.

The initial public hearing was scheduled for October 24, 2022, but too many people tried to log into a scheduled Zoom session to the point that the DCWP did not have capacity to accommodate everyone interested in attending the hearing. This technical glitch resulted in a rescheduling of the session to November 4. That hearing was well attended and the DCWP made the public comments available on its website.

There were 48 commentators, offering 178 pages of commentary. The commentators ranged from a few individuals writing on their own behalf to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and included some major law firms, the New York Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Society of Human Resources Management, and other entities. Some commentators were pro-management seeking a narrowing of the law’s application, and some pro-individuals seeking expansion of the law’s protections. If there is any consensus among the commentators, it appears to be that the new law requires more clarification.

The DCWP said that it will schedule another public hearing before finalizing its regulations. Please reach out to your Faegre Drinker contact for further clarification, and we will follow up with more information on Local Law 144 when we are able.

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