Employment and Labor Economics

ARG professionals advise clients on a broad spectrum of economic and statistical issues that arise in employment and labor disputes. We assist clients respond to discrimination and wrongful termination claims, OFCCP investigations, as well as alleged FLSA and state labor code violations.

Wage and Hour

In alleged off-the-clock and misclassification disputes, we provide assistance at every stage of the litigation process, from discovery and class certification to calculating damages for settlement purposes. We are experts in the design and implementation of statistically valid surveys and time-and-motion observational studies. These studies can quantify the variability in worker responsibilities to address class certification issues, and the percentages of time worker classes spend working in exempt tasks to address liability issues. Our economists have developed models to calculate the number of overtime hours employees likely did work in the past to address damages issues.

ARG has cited its own research in expert filings demonstrating that employees have a tendency to over-recall the number of hours they may have worked in the past.

Representative Engagements

  • We were retained by outside counsel of a major retail company being sued under the California Labor Code for allegedly misclassifying employees as exempt from CLC overtime provisions. ARG labor economists designed and oversaw a statistically valid time and motion (observational) study that was relied upon to address both class certification and liability issues. An ARG labor economist provided expert testimony, both in an expert report and at deposition, concerning the variability of responsibilities performed by the purported class members as well as the percentage of time class members spent, on average, on exempt and non-exempt tasks. The case was dismissed after one of our labor economist’s provided deposition testimony.
  • A leading financial institution faced a collective action by tens of thousands of its retail banking employees alleging they were forced to work off-the-clock resulting in unpaid overtime compensation. Our team of labor economists analyzed company databases and bank documents to quantify the variance of task pressures placed on employees across different positions such as branch managers, financial services representatives, and tellers as well as across regions and branches. An ARG labor economist submitted an expert report that included ARG research showing employees’ tendency to exaggerate the number of overtime hours worked. Our expert provided deposition testimony at the class certification stage.

Employment Discrimination

Our labor economists use their knowledge of labor markets, together with rigorous economic analysis and court-accepted statistical techniques, to assess the merit of discrimination claims and to quantify any potential monetary damages that could arise from such claims.

To help shield companies from future litigation, we audit company employment and pay practices to determine whether they satisfy EEOC and OFCCP criteria. Our reviews help identify individuals, or groups of individuals, who may be adversely impacted by current or planned employment policies.

Representative Engagements

  • In a Title VII suit alleging gender discrimination in the selection of employees for termination, one of ARG’s labor economists provided an expert report and deposition testimony supporting our finding of no statistically significant difference in employee selection rates once company business factors and employee skill sets were taken into consideration.
  • A Fortune 500 company facing a class action litigation of thousands of management employees regarding its pension plan change turned to ARG economists for litigation support. The company converted from a traditional defined benefit plan to a cash balances plan and faced allegations that the conversion violated both ERISA and ADEA statutes. The ADEA claims asserted that older employees failed to earn additional pension benefits from continued employment under the new plan whereas younger workers did not face such a penalty. We identified an internationally-acclaimed professor to serve as the testifying expert and provided litigation support to outside counsel. Our analysis reviewed detailed historical earnings information for each employee to calculate pension benefits under alternative plans for both older and younger employees as well as for specific plaintiffs.