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Technical Advisory Committee Report on Best Practices in Adverse Impact Analyses

Although determining whether selection, promotion, and termination decisions result in adverse impact is an important topic for organizations, there is little guidance about the proper way in which these analyses should be conducted. This lack of guidance is problematic in that it is not unusual for professionals in the same organization to disagree about how these analyses should be conducted, and it is certainly not unusual for plaintiffs and defendants to disagree. To help determine if there are “best practices” in conducting adverse impact analyses, the Center for Corporate Equality (CCE) created a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) consisting of 70 of the nation’s top experts in adverse impact analyses.


TAC members consisted of a wide variety of EEO experts including industrial-organizational psychologists, labor economists, plaintiff and defense attorneys, HR practitioners, and former OFCCP and EEOC officials. The first step in the process was to administer a detailed questionnaire that asked TAC members to indicate how they would handle a variety of data, statistical, and legal interpretation issues commonly encountered in conducting adverse impact analyses. The survey results were used to identify topics where there was strong agreement as well as topics where there was strong disagreement. Results of this survey were used to structure the agenda for an in-person onsite meeting.


Forty-five of the TAC members then gathered at Georgetown University for a two-day face-to-face meeting to discuss responses to the survey and make general recommendations. These recommendations were combined with the survey results to create a best practice document that will be distributed without cost to members of the EEO community on September 15, 2010. As a courtesy to federal enforcement agencies, one week prior to the public release of the best practices document, members of CCE briefed representatives from the OFCCP, EEOC, and Department of Justice on the TAC findings.


The report is featured in the BNA Daily Labor Report® for September 15.


Authored by David B. Cohen, M.S., President, Michael G. Aamodt, Ph.D., Principal Consultant, Eric M. Dunleavy, Ph.D., Director of Personnel and Litigation Support at DCI Consulting.