Pymetrics (acquired by Harver)

Enacting First-Mover AI Legislation

Press Hits

Taming the wild west of AI-based hiring

Taming the wild west of AI-based hiring

New laws and regulations are aiming to draw some boundaries for the fast-growing but often black-box approach of using AI to hire employees.

The Stakes

With AI playing a growing role in the hiring process, lawmakers were increasingly interested in regulation and oversight of the space to ensure these systems are not biased. We worked with pymetrics, an ethical AI hiring platform, and co-founder and CEO Frida Polli to proactively pursue legislation that would ensure that all automated systems used in hiring (AI or not) are subject to public disclosure requirements of gender or ethnic/racial bias.


The Process

Our engagement aimed to build a comprehensive public affairs campaign, with lobbying, public relations, and grassroots support as the key elements.

After deciding NYC was the best jurisdiction to launch our efforts, we worked with multiple city Council members, particularly from the Black, Asian and Latino Caucus, to sponsor the legislation. To give the bill maximum momentum when it was introduced, Tusk i) placed an exclusive in the WSJ; ii) secured seven other cosponsors to bolster the out-of-the-gate strength of the legislation; iii) built a network of grassroots partners who could provide third-party validation for the bill with legislators in the form of meetings and testimony.

As the bill moved forward, our campaign intensified. To keep up momentum and to say ahead of opposition, Tusk then i) got proactive earned media, including Daily News and Blavity op-eds that led to additional cosponsors signing on; ii) worked with reporters Wired and other national publications to ensure our points of view were included in every piece; and iii) helped get pymetrics’ legislative efforts recognized by Fast Company as a finalist for their 2021 World Changing Ideas awards.


The Conclusion

The bill eventually passed the Council 38-4, was signed by the mayor and became law, taking effect in 2023. We secured coverage in Axios, Morning Brew, AP, and Crain’s within a week and a major policy stake in the ground has been set for ethical AI.