Countering Bias in Expert HR Systems: A Procurement Guide for In-House Counsel

Steven Sheinberg, General Counsel and SVP, Privacy and Security, Anti-Defamation League, USA

People analytics – the focusing of so-called big data on human resources – is a tool for finding those factors that correlate with workplace success. Done right, people analytics can be extraordinarily powerful tools for testing, understanding and advancing the practice of human resources. Done incorrectly, and there is a potential to bake bias right into the core of your human resources activities. The story told about the future of people analytics is the stuff of utopian writing – that computers will take massive amounts of data (say, the history of your company’s hiring to date and the success or lack of success of candidates) – and derive from that data a way to select the best candidates for the job. And because these processes are based on data, math and formulas, we are led to believe that the results will be free from the usual bias associated with hiring. Put more succinctly, people analytics should help us learn from the past to determine who will be more likely to succeed and who will be more likely to fail fail. Unfortunately, the truth is quite different. With smart lawyering, however, we can create better systems and help our organizations better understand (and thus manage) the risk associated with people analytics.

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USA Employment Government January 2018 Vol.11, No. 42, Winter 2018

Steven Sheinberg

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Steven Sheinberg General Counsel Senior Vice President, Privacy and Security Anti-Defamation League Steve Sheinberg is responsible for protecting ADL's assets, reputation, people and data. As ADL’s chief legal officer, he has full responsibility for all elements of the corporate legal environment, including an extensive employment law practice and all contract, compliance, and technology matters (to name a few). He also leads ADL’s privacy and security functions, including deploying the forward-looking policies and practices that strengthen the protection of ADL’s personal data and that elevate and advance ADL's efforts to protect its people and facilities. Steve also writes about the intersection of emerging technology and employment law at www.workplacetechlaw.com. Modern risk management requires employment lawyers to have an extremely deep and sophisticated understanding of emerging technology and its uses. Workplacetechlaw covers this important field and provides very practical advice to employment lawyers. Prior to becoming ADL’s General Counsel, Steve was instrumental in developing several key ADL programs including those dealing with cyberhate and physical security. He also practiced employment law at Outten & Golden, LLP and has held leadership roles in the Plaintiff’s employment bar. Steve holds a B.A. from Hofstra University, a PhD from Bowling Green University and a JD from Emory University. He is admitted in New York, Connecticut and various federal courts including the United States Supreme Court.

Anti-Defamation League

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The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting Antisemitism racism and all forms of bigotry through advocacy, education and training.

USA Employment Government January 2018 Vol.11, No. 42, Winter 2018