Workday AI job screening system discrimination

Occurred: February 2023

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Business and IT services company Workday has been accused (pdf) in a lawsuit of building a job screening tool that discriminates against elder, Black disabled people. 

The class action complaint alleges that Derek Mobley, a well-educated Black man living in California who suffers from anxiety and depression, had applied for some 80 to 100 jobs at various employers that he believes use Workday software, and was turned down every time.

The Workday screening tools 'allow its customers to use dicriminatory and subjective judgements in reviewing and evaluating employees for hire', the suit claims. 'If an individual does not make it past these Workday screening products, he/she will not advance in the hiring process,' it says.

The suit goes on to allege that AI systems and screening tools 'rely on algorithms and inputs created by humans who often have built-in motivations, conscious and unconscious, to discriminate.' Workday denies the claim. 

Perhaps ironically, the company preaches how to mitigate bias on its website.

Operator: Workday
Developer: Workday
Country: USA
Sector: Business/professional services  
Purpose: Screen job applicants
Technology: Machine learning
Issue: Bias/discrimination - race, age, disability
Transparency: Governance

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: February 2023
Last updated: August 2023