Auditing employment data in a proactive analysis can help avoid adverse employment effects among protected classes of employees. Identifying trouble spots early on may also enable firms to mitigate the threat of workplace discrimination lawsuits. In situations wherein raw or diverse data collection and organization are required, such as when a reduction in force is anticipated, an adverse impact analysis is important to consider. 

More broadly, Welch Consulting’s diversity and inclusion consulting can assist firms in identifying shortfalls in hiring and promotions, and provide adverse impact analysis statistics in order to ascertain whether shortfalls are small enough, or occur infrequently enough, that they can be explained by random fluctuations in a company’s practices.

Practical Solutions Developed by Expert Economists

employment practices audits

For some companies, an audit is a one-time event, especially if connected to an OFCCP investigation or to litigation. For others, follow-up studies are conducted every year or every few years to determine whether adjustments have been effective, or whether any potential problems have arisen since the most recent audit. These follow-up studies may be voluntary, to prepare for an OFCCP audit, or they may be required pursuant to a prior settlement agreement or litigation outcome. 

When litigation threatens, a defendant may be in a rush to identify and organize the best statistical information to support a defense. However, with foresight and proactive efforts to address problem areas prior to litigation, companies can be ready for discovery requests and certain of the evidence revealed in the data they provide.

As a statistical and economic consulting firm with more than 40 years of experience conducting employment and pay equity analyses, we have worked with outside and inside counsel to prepare for litigation needs—verifying remediation steps, assisting with liability studies, and, if necessary, providing testimony.

Employment Practice Audits: Representative Engagements

The Assignment

Welch Consulting was hired by counsel for a national jewelry retailer with a large commissioned workforce to organize job history, payroll, application, and store data in anticipation of a gender-focused workplace discrimination lawsuit

Our Findings

Based on a complete set of business records, Welch Consulting’s experts performed statistical analyses of pay and labor practice decisions by accounting for all relevant factors affecting observed differences in pay levels and hiring and promotion rates between individual men and women. These analyses were presented in mediation.

The Assignment

Welch Consulting was hired by counsel for a large national electronics retailer to analyze differences in expected layoff rates between men and women, whites and minorities, and older and younger workers. The analyses took place at the time of a mass reduction in force, in order to assess the potential risk of future litigation.

Our Findings

Results were produced in real-time to facilitate the process and so that recommendations could be made.  We assisted with similar analyses on subsequent layoff decisions that affected different sections of their workforce over a four-year period.

The Assignment: Analyze and Organize Databases in Response to OFFCP Allegations

Welch Consulting was hired by counsel for a medical records company to organize and analyze complex applicant and hiring databases in response to an initial allegation of gender and race discrimination made by the OFCCP. Such databases should continue to be reviewed in preparation for future OFCCP audits.

Our Findings

We prepared analytical data for production to the OFCCP. We also performed a statistical analysis of hiring that took account of applicants’ prior job histories and job preferences.