Monday, August 24, 2015

That is SO last week

We’ve been talking potential bias in big data for some time now, and last week’s news was full of concerns about just that.  The New York Times Upshot Blog interviewed a Microsoft computer scientist on the subject; NBC News asked if resume-reviewing software can be as biased as hiring managers; and media outlets and industry groups continued to discuss the research from University of Utah, University of Arizona, and Haverford College suggesting that algorithms can be biased.  This news serves as a reminder to employers who are using this technology that bias can still play a role, and the EEOC is paying attention.
Discrimination
  • John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight argued for expanded LGBT rights including employment protections.
  • International Business Times reported that some Uber and Lyft drivers discriminated against disabled travelers.
  • Eric B. Meyer advised against asking candidates to fall into a particular age range.
  • A home health care provider in Mississippi will pay $100,000 to settle a disability discrimination case involving an employee who suffered an epileptic seizure at work and was refused a reasonable accommodation.
  • Daniel Schwartz explained what to do after an employee runs out of paid time off.
Technology
  • While not a uniform maker, Ralph Lauren has created a shirt that can measure heart rate, breathing depth and balance, and other key metrics.  Coming to a uniform near you? 
  • The massive data breach of the Ashley Madison “cheaters website” has sparked two class actions in Canada, while employers are asking if they should terminate employees with accounts.
  • Companies are adopting wearable technology to manage employee productivity.
  • Mike Haberman asked for the pros and cons of wearables in the workplace.
  • William Tincup wants HR tech purchasers to ask questions before making a purchase.
In other developments
  • A D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the Obama Administration’s rule that home health care workers are entitled to overtime and minimum wages. 
  • Fortune reported that a flawed Uber background check may have allowed a convicted murderer to drive customers.
  • Steven Greenhouse explained how a fifteen dollar minimum wage could raise many out of poverty.
Posted by Kate Bischoff