Employment Discrimination: Statistics Generally

Statistics Use in Employment Discrimination Generally
  • Both Plaintiffs and Defendants use statistics
  • Need a large enough sample size
  • Essential for some kinds of cases
    • Class actions
    • "Pattern and Practice" cases (brought by the gov't)--like class actions (used to be more important than they are today)
  • Really important for HR purposes--otherwise how does HR find out if discrimination is happening in their company?
    • But numbers can be manipulated by managers, etc.--IMPORTANT FOR HR to structure reports to avoid having dept hide details from them
  • In litigation
    • Basis of discovery disputes
    • Fights about whether statistics are good enough to be admissible--court as a gatekeeper
    • Experts also important--must have them on the one hand to explain the stats, on the other hand experts know nothing about Title VII or your widgets--can create completely useless stats b/c they do not understand what question to ask!
  • General Advice: in assessing statistics, you must understand them yourself, cannot simply rely on "experts," especially when deciding what statistical analysis to conduct
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