How will the robotics revolution impact labor and employment law?
A just released report by Littler Mendelson, a firm specializing in such law, attempts to address problems that could creep up in 12 areas of labor law and discusses the potential regulatory and legislative stumbling blocks to implementing robotics and automation.
“Many of the labor and employment law issues are not intuitive,” said Gary Mathiason, co-chairman of Littler’s Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Automation Practice Group, at a Wednesday roundtable in Washington.
The report, “The Transformation of the Workplace Through Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Automation,” released by Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute, is preliminary. “We put this [report] out to legal scholars, industry experts and HR professionals to get their feedback,” Mathiason said.
In the financial advisory world, robo-advisors are taking the place of human professionals for some clients. An example of such an advisor is Wealthfront, which had no clients over 50 a year ago, though 10% of its clientele today is in that age group.
Mathiason noted that the preliminary report will form the basis of a more comprehensive report to be released in May.
The Think Leadership Roundtable held Wednesday is a starting point to “explore how workplace laws (many enacted decades ago) will likely be applied and then reinterpreted by courts and regulators,” Mathiason told ThinkAdvisor. “While attention has been directed to the effect of these technologies on jobs and the needed skills of the future work force, there are dozens of other legal issues that employers will face.”