Surveys, Experiments, & Other Primary Data Collection in Labor & Employment Litigation
Surveys, experiments, and other primary data collection are methodologies that can be applied in employment disputes. Such methods have recently gained prominence in this type of litigation. For example, in the seminal Tyson class action matter, a stop-watch study was used to evaluate the time it took class members to “don and doff” (put on and take off) protective gear. The study was accepted by the court and contributed to the damages calculation. Analysis Group has substantial experience with primary data collection methods (e.g., surveys and experiments) that can be used in labor disputes.
These methods can be used for:
- Conducting studies evaluating plaintiffs’ perceptions of their employment relations. For example, surveys can address whether a worker believes to be an employee or a contractor. Similarly, surveys can address whether an employee believes to be employed by the franchisor or the franchisee.
- Using primary data collection studies to evaluate a particular aspect of the work environment, for which no secondary data exist, similar to the Tyson case.
- Evaluating the so-called “implicit bias” in discrimination disputes. The classical Implicit Association Test (IAT) is a sorting task conducted in an experimental setting that measures how quickly participants make associations between certain words and/or images on the screen. These studies aim at identifying subconscious bias towards, for example, a particular age, gender, or race/ethnic group or even a specific policy or concept.