The use of robotics, AI, and automation in the workplace is no longer relegated to science fiction. Spending on robotics and AI will reach $250 billion during 2020, exceed a trillion dollars during 2025, and sometime thereafter, robotics and AI will become the largest industry in the world. It is projected that by as early as 2025, half of the jobs in the U.S. could be performed by self-learning machines and software. According to Littler, recent advances in the technologies of AI and robotics have led to a sharp increase in the capabilities and cost-effectiveness of automated systems.

As employers incorporate robotic technology into the workplace, they must also adapt their compliance systems to this unique and rapidly evolving industry. Employers in the robotics industry should prepare for the legislative and regulatory obstacles that could affect how they do business in the U.S. and abroad. 

Attorneys in Littler’s Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation practice group regularly assist employers in the technology sector and employers that are integrating technological advances into their workplaces to navigate the complex and evolving terrain of employment and labor law.  As the world’s largest law firm focusing solely on legal and regulatory issues affecting employers, Littler is positioned to help businesses confront the new challenges that robotics brings.  Our Robotics practice group also works closely with Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute™ to provide expert testimony and model policies on issues of greatest import to this industry. 

The following are the “Top 10” employment and labor law issues most impacted by the robotics revolution and growth of artificial intelligence (AI):

  • 10 Areas of Employment and Labor Law Most Impacted by RoboticsWorkplace Privacy and eDiscovery
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Health and Safety
  • State Rights Statutes
  • Anti-Discrimination Protections
  • Wage and Hour Requirements
  • Trade Secret Protection and Covenants Not-to-Compete
  • Unionization and Collective Bargaining Requirements
  • Human Displacement
  • International Standards and Agreements

Technology-Induced Displacement of Employees (TIDE)

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics will generate unprecedented opportunities and challenges for employers and workers. Learn how Littler can help you prepare.

How Can We Help?

Attorneys in Littler’s Robotics practice group handle a broad spectrum of employment and labor issues, from workplace privacy to health and safety. Here’s how Littler can help:

  • Provide employment and labor law representation and compliance assistance to employers in the robotics industry and employers integrating robotics and AI systems into their workplaces in the U.S. and worldwide.
  • Through Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute™, provide model policies and expert testimony to legislatures, parliaments and regulatory agencies on employment and labor law compliance, challenges and practical recommendations on the adoption and implementation of workplace robotics.
  • Provide a customized review of your robotics products and software to assess whether their use conflicts with workplace laws, and suggest compliance solutions. 
  • Examine how your products or software could be used to help users attain workplace compliance.  For example, robotic exoskeletons or voice-activated software might be an appropriate reasonable accommodation for an individual with disabilities. 

The above is just a sampling of our experience representing robotics entities in employment and labor law matters. To learn more about the Robotics practice group, our specific experience, and how we can help you, please contact your Littler Attorney.

Robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation Contacts

What does an employer need to know when looking to use A.I. in recruiting?

What does an employer need to know when looking to use A.I. in recruiting?

How can AI be used to improve hiring practices – without increasing the risk of discrimination?

How can AI be used to improve hiring practices – without increasing the risk of discrimination?

Related News & Analysis

Why Robot Taxes Won't Work

October 8, 2018

Related Press

A Robot at the Bench

November 11, 2019

Speaking Engagements

Technology and the Future of Work: Are We Prepared for the Changes Ahead

The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF), Labor and Employment Law Section, Yosemite Conference

February 21-22, 2020 | Natalie A. Pierce

Finding Uniformity and Standardizing the Use of AI Globally

2020 LegalTech Conference, New York, NY

February 3-6, 2020 | Natalie A. Pierce

Assessing the Risk to Employers Looking to Use Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools During the Hiring Process

Littler 2 the Point 2020 Video

2020 | Chase Perkins

Cybersecurity and Supply Chain and Risk Management

ACC Cybersecurity Summit, Washington, D.C.

January 28, 2020 | Natalie A. Pierce

A3 Business Forum

Orlando, FL

January 13, 2020 | Natalie A. Pierce

AI and Robots in the Workplace

ABA Artificial Intelligence and Robotics National Institute, Santa Clara, CA

January 9, 2020 | Natalie A. Pierce

Responsible AI: Practical Steps for Delivering Legal and Ethical AI

The AI Summit, New York, NY

December 2019 | Natalie A. Pierce

Keynote: Building Digital Dexterity in an Uncertain Era of Technological Change

Future Work Live Conference, New York City, NY

December 4, 2019 | Natalie A. Pierce

Data Protection, Machine Learning and Personal Information - Panel

Artificial Intelligence and IP Workshop/Tech Road Show, American Intellectual Property Law Association

November 12, 2019 | Natalie A. Pierce

AI-Powered HR: Legal/Ethical Implications in a World of Algorithmic Bias

IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society SCV/SF/OEB Joint Chapter, Santa Clara, CA

November 7, 2019 | Garry G. Mathiason

Preparing Your Workforce: Future Worker Roles, Education, and Skill Requirements (Panel)

AI and Robotics Symposium, University of Michigan

November 1, 2019 | Natalie A. Pierce

Is Your Artificial Intelligence Breaking the Law?

Changing Currents in Employment Law CLE, Washington, D.C. Bar Association

October 29, 2019 | Meredith L. Schramm-Strosser

Staffing and Morale in the Age of AI and Robotics

WIPL Panel, Washington, D.C.

October 18, 2019 | Natalie A. Pierce

AI + HR = Recipe for Disaster?

MCCA Pathways Panel, New York, NY

October 15, 2019 | Natalie A. Pierce

AI-Powered HR Systems Arrive: Benchmarking Legal Compliance in Anticipation of Algorithmic Bias & Biometric Class Actions

2019 California Women Lawyers In-House Counsel Puzzle Series, San Francisco, CA

October 10, 2019 | Garry G. Mathiason

AI and Future of Law

Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) 2019 Annual Convention

September 27, 2019 | Natalie A. Pierce

The Time is Now to Plan for AI & Robotics to Improve Your Company’s Hiring Learning Security Productivity & Morale

Association of Corporate Counsel South Carolina Annual Meeting, Charleston, SC

September 23, 2019 | William H. Foster

The Robot Made Me Do It! – AI in the Workplace

2019 Dallas Regional Employer Conference

July 18, 2019 | Andrew Gray

Next Generation Robotics and Workplace Health and Safety – How Businesses Safely Adopt Through Assessment and Prevention of Related Hazards


July 18, 2019 | Natalie A. Pierce

AI, Cybersecurity, and the Workforce: Creating and Maintaining a Culture of Stewardship

ACC Foundation Cybersecurity Summit CANADA

July 11, 2019 | Natalie A. Pierce

Helping Your Clients Use Artificial Intelligence Wisely When Developing Their Services

ACC Foundation Cybersecurity Summit CANADA

July 11, 2019 | Natalie A. Pierce

How Artificial Intelligence Is Revolutionizing the Workplace

XpertHR Podcast

July 10, 2019 | Garry G. Mathiason

Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and Law

Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Foundation’s Cybersecurity Summit, Vancouver, Canada

July 2019 | Chase Perkins

The Time Is Now to Plan for AI and Robotics to Improve Your Company's Hiring, Learning, Security, Productivity and Morale

2019 Executive Employer Conference, Phoenix, AZ

May 9, 2019 | Garry G. Mathiason, Natalie A. Pierce

The Time Is Now to Plan for AI and Robotics to Improve Your Company's Hiring, Learning, Security, Productivity and Morale

2019 Executive Employer Conference, Phoenix, AZ

May 9, 2019 | Garry G. Mathiason, Natalie A. Pierce

Littler Diversity Summit: Turning Crisis into Meaningful Culture Change

2019 Executive Employer Conference, Phoenix, AZ

May 9, 2019 | Natalie A. Pierce

AI & Human Capital Session

Bootstrap Labs Applied AI Conference AAI19, San Francisco, CA

April 18, 2019 | Natalie A. Pierce

What Employers Need to Know – The Opportunities and Pitfalls of Robotics and AI

A3 Automate Trade Show, Chicago, IL

April 10, 2019 | Natalie A. Pierce

Corporate Governance in a Digitalized World

14th UIA Winter Seminar, Aspen, CO

April 2, 2019 | Natalie A. Pierce

Panel: Employer Use of Technology and Tracking Employees in the Workplace

ABA Employer Rights and Responsibilities Midwinter Meeting, Las Vegas, NV

March 22, 2019 | Garry G. Mathiason

AI and Machine Learning: Managing the Risks of Major Lawsuits

RSA Conference, San Francisco, CA

March 4-8, 2019 | Natalie A. Pierce

AI Panel – Our Future with Artificial Intelligence

Association for Advancing Automation (A3) Business Forum, Orlando, FL

January 16, 2019 | Garry G. Mathiason