Labor & Employment Consulting
CRA provides in-depth analysis, expert reports, testimony, and advisory services to law firms, companies—both large and small—and government agencies involved in complex labor and employment disputes. We also assist employers by conducting proactive studies of employment and contracting practices, monitoring consent decrees and settlement agreements, and designing systems to track employment practices.
Wage and hour analysis
In the area of wage and hour analysis, CRA consultants:
- Analyze liability and assess damages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), California overtime laws, and other state-specific wage and hour laws.
- Assess the value of unpaid overtime, off-the-clock work, minimum wage violations, missed meals and rest periods, lost vacation days, and failure to pay prevailing wages. CRA has worked extensively with payroll, HRIS, and time clock data to analyze liability and assess damages under wage and hour laws.
- Calculate wait-time, pay stub, and other state-specific wage and hour penalties through case experience and ongoing education.
Analysis of wage and hour claim
CRA provided analysis and expert testimony related to a claim that employees at a call center were working “off-the-clock” and during their meal and rest breaks. Our experts analyzed millions of data records in order to assess liability and economic exposure. These analyses resulted in a favorable settlement agreement for the client with the estimated unpaid hours decreasing by more than 90% from the hours estimated by the opposing expert.
Analysis of wage and hour claim
CRA provided an analysis of economic exposure relating to allegations made by mortgage loan officers (MLOs) that a national bank owed them for unpaid overtime work, failed to provide legally mandated meal/rest breaks, and made improper deductions from their pay. Our experts combined employee-specific payroll and employment records in order to assess whether the employees were properly classified under different exemption criteria and prepared estimates of economic exposure for use at mediation. The case was later settled on favorable terms for the client.
A CRA expert designed and implemented an observational study to collect data on retail store managers who alleged they were misclassified as exempt. CRA analyzed the data it collected in order to determine how the managers were spending their time, providing both liability and potential economic exposure analyses to the client. The CRA analyses helped lead to the defeat of class certification.
To learn more about CRA's life wage and hour analyses, download our brochure
and contact us
Equal employment oppportunity (EEO)/employment discrimination and litigation
In the area of EEO and employment discrimination, CRA experts:
- Provide expert testimony on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants on matters involving allegations of discrimination in compensation, promotions, terminations, hiring, and performance reviews.
- Estimate potential earnings and other economic losses associated with alleged wrongful termination, failure to promote, equal pay, and wrongful death in both single- and multi-plaintiff matters.
- Work with counsel to anticipate and respond to OFCCP desk audits and EEOC investigations.
- Assist in the review and production of employer data to government agencies. CRA ensures that employer data is complete and accurate while restricting the data to relevant populations.
- Help counsel with the review and critique of analyses offered by the government agencies and, when appropriate, rebutting analyses that are responsive to the agencies’ claims.
- Participate in negotiations with agency officials on appropriate statistical methodologies.
- Provide analyses that are required as part of a negotiated settlement or consent decree.
Reduction in force
CRA assessed a large telecommunications company’s reduction in force process to determine whether it disparately impacted older workers. Our analyses revealed there was no statistical support for the plaintiff’s allegation when the process was properly modeled.
Working in conjunction with an affiliated expert, CRA provided sophisticated compensation analyses that expanded upon the regression techniques commonly used by experts. The alternative technique was more appropriate when there was substantial variation in compensation.
CRA experts provided ongoing support to a large financial institution with multiple EEOC pattern and practice investigations. CRA worked with multiple law firms to provide a coordinated data production and statistical response to the EEOC. The EEOC dropped its investigations after the company presented more than two years of comprehensive and thorough analyses prepared by CRA.
Call center sales employees of a television cable provider alleged that their pay was adversely impacted by changes to the structure of their commission plan due to their age. CRA provided analyses and expert testimony that found no statistically significant differences in the impact of the changes in the compensation plan between similarly situated older and younger workers. Summary judgment was granted to the defendant, in part, due to the analyses prepared by our experts.
CRA was hired by a national retail and investment bank to assess claims that financial advisors were discriminated against based on gender. We integrated numerous data sources, including production data, compensation data, and detailed account information down to the transaction level. Our analysts compared the production, compensation, bonuses, and account reassignments from departing brokers to male and female advisors and found that that the practices of the bank were not consistent with the claims of the plaintiffs, particularly in outcomes that involved discretion on the part of decision makers. CRA also assisted the client in the production of various data sources.
To learn more about CRA's life sciences EEO and employment discrimination and litigation consulting, download our brochure
and contact us
Audits of employment practices
In the area of employment issues, CRA experts provide proactive analyses of employment practices and:
- Work with in-house and outside counsel to prepare internal audits of employment outcomes and develop systems that allow for periodic monitoring of selection decisions.
- Assist companies undergoing workforce reductions to review the preliminary layoff decisions for adverse impact by modeling the company’s decision-making process as well as using approaches typically adopted by plaintiffs.
- Examine employee compensation and work with counsel to determine when adjustments may be appropriate using compensation models grounded in labor economic theory and based on an employer’s compensation policies and procedures.
Diversity and inclusion initiatives
Assisting the client with a roadmap to meet their diversity and inclusion goals, CRA provides an interactive reporting website for senior HR leaders at a Fortune 100 company. The portal allows for goal setting and includes predefined diversity and inclusion (D&I) presentations enabling the HR managers to easily digest trends over time and across different organizational levels. Additionally, the website provides detailed information so users can track missed opportunities with the click of a button.
A national big box retailer retained CRA to examine potential racial and gender differences in compensation, promotions, and terminations. CRA provided department-level results that allowed the retailer to systematically examine potential areas of concern.
CRA experts conducted an audit of compensation for a large employer in the financial sector. CRA examined employee pay at a broad, company-wide level and within sub-organizations, accounting for a range of employee and organizational factors that explain pay differences. Based on differences in compensation between certain groups of employees, the company chose to make adjustments to the salaries of some employees. CRA helped identify employees to be considered for adjustments and prepared information for managers who reviewed the pay of the selected employees and their comparators.
Reduction in force
CRA was retained by a pharmaceutical firm to assess the potential litigation risk associated with a proposed reduction in force. Using client-provided comparator pools to identify employees with similar chances of being impacted by the reduction, CRA’s preliminary analyses identified particular subgroups that were adversely impacted by the selection decisions. Further examination into the factors influencing the decision process identified two discretionary factors that led to the over-selection of particular employee groups. Using this information, the firm reviewed the decision process and removed these factors from consideration. The resulting selection decisions showed no adverse impact with respect to any particular employee group, thus reducing the risk of potential litigation.
To learn more about CRA's audits of employment practices consulting, download our brochure
and contact us
In the area of policy consulting, CRA experts:
- Assist clients with ascertaining the impact of public policy decisions, such as living wage laws on labor market outcomes, including unemployment and labor costs.
- Work on education policies concerning individuals who are on the margin between going to college and not, as well as policies for vocational and technical colleges.
- Assist with education policies concerning school construction, the effects of additional school funding, incentives in education for teachers and students, school accountability, health interventions as a way to increase school performance and educational attainment, job training, and vocational education.
New York real estate and living wage study
CRA was retained to examine the impact of living wage legislation proposed in New York City. In conjunction with CRA’s Financial Economics Practice, we conducted the most comprehensive analysis of the impact of the proposed living wage legislation on real estate investment and household employment and earnings. CRA’s analyses showed that the proposed law, as specified at the time of analysis, would have substantial impacts on real estate investment while benefiting some low-income workers at the expense of other low-income workers. The study included the most comprehensive review of economic studies on the impact of living wage legislation throughout the US and utilized city-specific data that allowed for detailed investment and labor force simulations. Legislative changes address some of the issues identified in CRA’s report.
CRA has worked with the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) and other trade organizations on the primary policies that the US federal government uses to promote access to and funding of higher education. Those policies include the Title IV student aid program, the Pell Grant program, and other regulations surrounding federal support and oversight of higher education.
A CRA-affiliated expert has written extensively about President Obama’s policy goal of increasing the number of college graduates in the US by the year 2020.
K–12 education policies
In a study funded by the US Department of Education and the National Institutes of Health, a CRA-affiliated expert is working with Chicago public schools to evaluate a program designed to reduce truancy.
To learn more about CRA's labor and employment policy consulting, download our brochure
and contact us