Workday sued for alleged discrimination in hiring practices

San Francisco (cron) — Human resources and technology firm Workday faces a lawsuit from a man who claims its artificial intelligence tools discriminated against him based on race while he was looking for a job, according to court documents filed in the Northern District of California. doing.

According to his attorney, the plaintiff in the lawsuit has been identified as Derek L. Mobley, a Morehouse College graduate who has worked in the financial services industry for many years. Mobley said he is a black man over the age of 40 and, according to court filings, he also suffers from depression and anxiety.

Since 2018, Mobley has applied for 80-100 positions at various companies using Workday’s recruiting technology. He says he is denied employment each time.

“Based on his qualifications and experience, he should not have been turned down for a wheelhouse job 80 to 100 times. I began to wonder if I was illegally denying job opportunities to others,” Mobley attorney Rod Cooks told KRON4.

Cooks and his business partner Lee Winston have a law firm in Birmingham, Alabama. The pair focuses primarily on employment law, particularly discrimination cases.

According to documents, Mobley believes he faced unlawful discrimination based on race, age and disability. The lawsuit alleges that these may have violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1866, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The complaint also alleges that Workday’s artificial intelligence systems and screening tools “rely on human-generated algorithms and inputs.”
unconsciously discriminate. ”

Mobley’s attorneys allege Workday exhibited a “continued and systematic pattern or practice of discriminatory job screening that disproportionately disqualifies African Americans, individuals over the age of 40, and individuals with disabilities.” doing. The lawsuit states that this discriminatory practice directly led to Mobley’s refusal of employment.

The court filings also include a class action allegation against Workday. These are all African Americans over the age of 40 or all applicants over the age of 40 who have not been referred or employed for employment since 2019 as a result of Workday’s “challenging” discriminatory screening process. intended to include

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This isn’t the first time Workday has faced discrimination allegations from Mobley. In 2021, Mobley filed a discrimination lawsuit against the Oakland company with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In November 2021, the EEOC dismissed the claim and gave Mobley notice of its right to sue, according to court documents.

“We believe AI is a useful tool for business when it comes to human resource needs, but care must be taken to ensure that conscious and/or unconscious biases are not built into screening tools,” Cooks said. Speaking to KRON4.

KRON4 reached out to Workday for comment on this matter, and a spokesperson issued the following statement:

We believe this lawsuit is without merit. Workday is committed to responsible AI. our decision is AI Ethical PrinciplesThis includes expanding human potential, making a positive impact on society, and championing transparency and fairness.” – Workday Workday sued for alleged discrimination in hiring practices

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