How Your Job Might Be “Obsoleted” by AI

How Your Job Might Be “Obsoleted” by AI

Your white-collar job is at risk to Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) technology. We have seen how technology can replace lower level and blue-collar workers, such as robots at General Motors.*  Now research indicates that AI, the use of computerized algorithms, can replace higher level white-collar jobs.

Better educated occupations are susceptible to AI’s spread into the economy, according to a recent Brookings Institute report. Market-research analysts and marketing specialists have the highest exposure to AI, according to the report, followed by sales managers, computer programmers and personal financial advisors. See Kearns, “AI Poised to Impact Hi-Skilled US Jobs,” Bloomberg News, Nov. 19, 2019.

Is AI Coming For Your Job?

I have advised many hundreds of clients who have unexpectedly been laid off, asked to resign, terminated, or by whatever term was used – no longer employed. That is devastating news, no matter what explanation is given. The general rule of law in Texas is based on the principle of “employment at will.” That means that an employee at any level can be terminated for any reason or no reason, so long as the termination was not based on an unlawful reason, such as discrimination or retaliation.

“Unlawful” reasons are many, and it requires an expert employment lawyer to ferret out the essential facts to determine whether any legal violation was involved. For example, age discrimination can be the basis of a company’s decision but usually is not overt.

Now that AI is entering the workplace, even highly educated and management level employees are more at risk for losing their jobs. AI may save the company money. Yet, it is doubtful that companies will admit to an employee, “You’re over 50, you’re obsolete, and we are replacing you with AI.” If you are seeing signs that you might be replaced or asked to leave, don’t wait until it’s a fait accompli. I can help you navigate those shark-invested waters to make proactive decisions before you receive the devastating news that “we’ve decided on a new plan of action,” and you are not part of the plan.

If you have more questions, contact me for an appointment.


* See “GM’s Smart Manufacturing Means More Robots,” Automotive News, July 30, 2018.  C-level employees many times have employment contracts, but those can be terminated. Dealing with the termination of employment agreements is another area that I handle. See GardnerEmploymentLaw/Services.

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