Judiciary Committee Chairman Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D) on Aug. 4 introduced a bill in the New York Senate that would ban AI-only decision-making for hiring and other employer decisions in the state. However, the bill would still allow certain types of electronic monitoring to continue if certain conditions are met.
“If implemented, [the bill] only bans certain high-risk and arguably illegal uses of AI — for example, to union bust or discriminate — and it makes sure that employers prove that the algorithms they use don’t discriminate against workers and requires them to disclose what they’re using AI for,” Hoylman-Sigal said in an interview with Bloomberg Law.
The regulations in the proposed state law are broader than those enacted July 5 by New York City on automated employment decisions tools, according to a post by law firm Proskauer Rose LLP published in The National Law Review. Hoylman-Sigal’s proposal, Bill S07623, would make it unlawful for an employer or employment agency to use an electronic monitoring tool to surveil employees residing in the state unless the electronic monitoring tool is primarily intended to accomplish certain allowable purposes, such as facilitating essential job functions, overseeing production and quality, evaluating employee performance, ensuring legal compliance, safeguarding worker health and safety, managing wages and benefits, and other purposes deemed necessary by the department for smooth business operations.
Any New York state crackdown on AI and workplace surveillance will likely have to wait until at least next January, when state lawmakers are scheduled to return to the state Capitol; however, Hoylman-Sigal told Bloomberg Law that interest in the issue is growing among his legislative colleagues.
“I think we’ll be seeing a lot of bills introduced between now and January,” he said. “I’m also not going to suggest that [my bill] is going to be the only approach. There will be others, and really, we’re going to be looking at a mixture of approaches on this very complicated and nuanced topic.”