Civil Rights Groups Call for Strong Guardrails in Hiring Assessment Technologies

Contact: Charmaine Riley, [email protected], 202.548.7166

WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Leadership Conference Education Fund and more than 24 civil rights, employment, and privacy organizations today introduced principles to guide the development, use, auditing, and oversight of hiring assessment technologies. The groups urge policymakers, vendors, and employers to protect the civil rights of working people by ensuring new assessment tools that rely on algorithms and artificial intelligence do not further entrench decades of discrimination. Without guardrails in place, new assessments threaten to perpetuate unjust hiring practices based on race, ethnicity, sex, disability, age, and other factors.

“Artificial intelligence, by its very nature, risks replicating and deepening existing inequities when it relies on data from the current workforce that is not sufficiently representative because of historic discrimination. Hiring assessment technologies must advance equity, not erect artificial barriers to employment. This will require proactive interventions by employers, vendors, and policymakers,” the groups wrote.

The Civil Rights Principles for Hiring Assessment Technologies state that hiring assessments:

  • Should not discriminate
  • Should measure traits and skills that are important to job performance
  • Should be transparent to job applicants
  • Should be thoroughly and regularly audited
  • Should be subject to meaningful oversight by state and federal regulators

The groups note, “Employers already have significant obligations to administer nondiscriminatory hiring processes. Vendors and technology providers will need to play a more prominent role in helping ensure these obligations are met. Government must ensure robust enforcement of existing laws to promote these principles. And policymakers may need to develop new laws and guidance to ensure workers’ rights are protected.”

The signatories and principles are available here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit

The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund’s campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States. It was founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. For more information on The Education Fund, visit