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Podcast: Why Robotics Is Reshaping the Workplace

Hosted by: David Weisenfeld

The first-ever attorney robot has been installed in a law firm. In Japan, a few hotels now have robots greeting guests at the check-in desk. And soon, robots will be working as sales clerks at the Lowe's hardware store chain. The future is already here, and the changes on the workplace in the coming years are very likely to be profound.

On this podcast, one of the nation's leading employment attorneys, Garry Mathiason, discusses how this trending development will affect HR and employers. Mathiason has been at the forefront of the robotics movement as co-chair of the first-of-its-kind Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Automation Practice Group at Littler Mendelson in San Francisco.

Why Robotics Is Reshaping the Workplace

November 2, 2016

According to Mathiason, as many as 50% of retail and service jobs will be affected by this technology in a very short period of time. And that's not all. "After 20 years, you and I may very well be replaced," Mathiason says. "What is occurring will be a significant disruption and displacement, but we forecast that job creation will outpace job elimination."

But along with this progress also come some compliance issues, which leaves room for HR to provide input, including how to address:

  • Disparate impact risks if robots disproportionately replace women and minorities in service jobs;
  • Ensuring diversity as robots take over interviewing tasks;
  • Training to be aware of this shift in skills; and
  • Guarding against privacy risks.

This podcast offers practical recommendations for employers as robotics continues to play a growing role in the workforce.

Additional Resources

Prepare for Workplace Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Checklist

Podcast: The Rise of Robotics and What It Means for Employers