Senator Derek Stanford (D-1) introduced SB 6299 to protect employee rights concerning artificial intelligence, which underwent a public hearing on January 29.
WR recognizes Senator Stanford’s intent to establish employee safeguards in the artificial intelligence (AI) era. However, the concise two-page bill attempts to address multiple issues with broad language, potentially leading to negative unintended consequences.
In response, several business associations, including WR, AWB, and the WHA, testified against the bill’s broad nature. Concerns were raised regarding the prohibition on employers using replicas of an employee’s likeness. While the goal is clear – protecting employee likenesses – the current language may inadvertently impede employers from ensuring a secure workplace. This broad interpretation might restrict the use of photographs or videos for essential tasks, such as personnel identification and store management, during non-standard hours.
The legislation also seeks to address AI’s use of employment evaluation tools but lacks clear definitions. The absence of precise distinctions may categorize various AI-based tools as employee evaluation tools, irrespective of their intended purpose.
Additionally, WR is concerned about the bill’s attempt to define “artificial intelligence” and “generative artificial intelligence” without a thorough scoping of the definitions. This lack of clarity could lead to confusion and disputes regarding their application in this legislation and potential future AI-related laws.
While acknowledging the bill’s attempt to address critical issues, WR stresses the need for comprehensive input and careful consideration due to the intricate nature of these matters. In line with this, WR and the broader business community support the establishment of a robust AI task force. This task force, comprising members from the public and private sectors across various industries and special interest groups, aims to facilitate the development of AI legislation, addressing concerns and ensuring a balanced outcome.
To stay up to date on AI legislation and participate in the WR AI Workgroup, email Crystal [email protected]