Employment Discrimination Cases: Class Action and Single-Plaintiff

Employment Discrimination Cases: Class Action and Single-Plaintiff

Workplace discrimination lawsuits challenge a defendant’s business practices or policies by alleging that race, ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, religious affiliation, disability, or any other employee characteristics are associated with adverse employment decisions or outcomes.  Employment discrimination cases may be brought under a variety of federal statutes, including:

Practical Solutions Developed by Expert Economists

employment discrimination cases

We regularly provide expert declarations and testimony in hearings to determine class certification. Prior to trial, we analyze issues such as class commonality, typicality of named class representatives, the cohesion of the purported class across company locations and/or during different segments of the class period. Our economic consulting includes analysis of company and non-company data that can be used to buttress liability arguments and provide alternate explanations for adverse outcomes that are not based on discriminatory animus.

Welch Consulting’s labor economists have more than 40 years of experience analyzing data and providing expert witness services in federal and state courts, in arbitrations, mediations, and in both single-plaintiff and class action discrimination matters. We provide proactive services to assist in employment dispute resolutions and are experienced in conducting adverse impact analyses.

Employment Discrimination: Representative Engagements

The Claim: Class-wide Race, Ethnicity and Gender Discrimination 

Welch Consulting was retained by attorneys representing a national electronics retailer to assess and testify about class action claims of racial, ethnic, and gender-based discrimination in hiring, initial assignment, compensation, and promotions.

Our Findings

Our economists effectively combined external vendor-based applicant tracking data and within-company information regarding career paths. This allowed us to accurately assess the claims based upon comparisons of similarly-situated employees, and show that apparent differences in the challenged company practices largely disappeared when statistically valid comparisons were made.

The Claim: EEOC Charge of Discrimination in Hiring, Promotions 

Welch Consulting was retained in a consulting capacity to assist a large national outdoor retail company in answering claims following an EEOC investigation regarding hiring and promotion practices among protected groups.

Our Findings

Our economists translated the data from hard copy applicant materials to an electronic database for analysis, and incorporated external sources of labor market availability and interest measures, in order to assess whether selection outcomes corresponded with interested applicant pools.

The Claim: Discrimination in Terminations, Testing, Evaluations and Other Areas

Attorneys representing a large national production and retail company retained Welch Consulting to analyze nationwide class action claims of race, ethnic and gender-based discrimination in hiring, promotions, evaluations, testing, and terminations.

Our Findings

Welch Consulting experts combined and analyzed company, vendor, and labor market data to provide evidence of non-discriminatory explanations of observed disparities.  Statistical analyses revealed differences among similarly-situated employees could be explained in many cases by random variation, and that company-wide, systemic adverse outcomes were absent in the practices analyzed.

The Claim: Discrimination in Pay

Welch Consulting was retained by attorneys representing plaintiffs in claims of discrimination in compensation among officers with a California law enforcement agency.

Our Findings

One of our economists testified that a properly estimated model of compensation showed statistically significant differences in pay to the detriment of protected group members.

The Claim: Discrimination in Layoffs and Compensation in Law Firm 

Following an EEOC investigation, Welch Consulting was retained by the agency to analyze and testify about a matter involving discrimination in layoffs and compensation among partners with a nationally-recognized law firm.

Our Findings

Welch Consulting economists’ data analysis showed that older partners were statistically more likely than expected to be terminated or offered a reduced compensation package. This evidence was used by the EEOC in reaching an accommodation with the law firm.

The Claim: Gender Discrimination in Pay at Hire

Welch Consulting was retained by counsel for a national provider of cleaning services facing a gender discrimination suit. Experts for the plaintiffs pointed to what appeared to be a pay differential to the disadvantage of female employees.

Our Findings

Welch Consulting experts examined hiring data and found considerable variation between jobs, such that differences in necessary skills and education between certain roles accounted for statistically significant pay differentials between male and female hires. Moreover, when our experts performed a pay equity analysis among employees in the same job, we found very little variance. Welch Consulting experts’ findings served to defeat class certification.

The Claim: Race Discrimination in Hiring

Welch Consulting was retained by counsel for a national big-box retailer facing a race discrimination suit, in which the plaintiff claimed the company disadvantaged African American applicants in the hiring process.

Our Findings

Through communications with the client and careful investigation of the data, Welch Consulting’s experts learned applicants available to work weekend shifts were more than twice as likely to be hired as applicants who were unwilling to work any weekend shifts. Once our analysis correctly incorporated this aspect of the hiring process into the data, results showed that the number of African American hires was actually higher than would have been predicted by a race-neutral model.