Speaking Engagement

Law Seminars International presents a teleconference: Evaluating, Improving and Protecting Employment Decisions after the U.S. Supreme Court's New Haven Firefighers' Case

Friday, July 24 04:00 AM BST to 04:00 AM BST

Paul Grossman, Partner in Paul Hastings Employment Law department, will be a featured panelist on LSI's one-hour teleconference to discuss the USSC Ricci Decision and its impact on HR practices.

On June 29, the Supreme Court ended its term by holding that, in some contexts, employers violate Title VII when they engage in race-conscious decision-making to address statistical workforce imbalances. Employers may excuse such violations by demonstrating a "strong basis in evidence" that failing to engage in race-conscious decision-making will very likely result in disparate-impact liability.

This 5-4 decision will alter how employers approach statistical anomalies arising from reductions in force and many other types of HR decision-making processes -- including especially course-corrective measures that may previously have been less risky. Employers must now consider using formal "validation" studies, in place of HR decision-making processes that previously were much less formally structured.

In sum, with Ricci v. DiStefano the Supreme Court has very significantly upped the ante on many preventive steps that employers -- both public and private -- may consider taking to reduce potential discrimination liabilities. Especially challenging issues -- left unanswered by Ricci -- revolve around how to make better decisions in the areas of human resource practice that rely upon inherently subjective decisionmaking -- e.g., layoffs, promotions, compensation decisions/analyses -- and more.

Discussion Topics:

  • The crucial distinction between content v. criterion validity in testing

  • How much more important early planning of HR processes has become

  • Major increased risks associated with varying from pre-set HR processes

  • Tested compliance devices -- e.g., "banding" and "qualified groupings"

  • How to discover which testing and other vendors help reduce risk most

  • Questions left unanswered by Ricci -- e.g,, its interaction with state laws

  • Why good faith and voluntary compliance still matter

For additional information and to register, please visit LSI's website.

Practice Areas

Employment Law


Image: Paul Grossman
Paul Grossman

Partner, Employment Law Department

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