Littler Mendelson takes aim at pay inequity with new software

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Law firm Littler Mendelson built a pay equity tool to assist its attorneys tasked with helping HR managers make more effective hiring decisions and correct pay gaps among women and minorities.

The firm, which has more than 50 offices in 36 states, rolled out its Pay Equity Assessment Tool recently to streamline guidance and offer companies easy-to-understand reports with visuals and actionable strategies.

Littler Mendelson attorneys will use the software-based assessment tool internally to help employers determine where the risks are with pay inequity, says Aaron Crews, the firm’s data analytics officer. Clients will export data sets from relevant time periods from their HRIS, which will then be imported into the Pay Equity Assessment Tool, he says.

From there, the firm will look at the differences in pay based on protected class status like women, African American, Asian, Native American and non-white, and controls such as education level, state, job title, gender, year of service, business unit and prior work experience.

Companies working with Littler Mendelson can personalize those filters, such as measuring pay equity between LGBTQ workers and white men, if they have applicable data sets, Crews says.

Using the data, the firm generates visually interesting reports to send back to the HR department — an upgrade from statistical data, although that is available as well.

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The firm says it is considering exploring a SaaS model, where companies can pay a monthly or yearly fee to use it themselves; right now, the firm is hosting the data internally and developing strategies around it for their clients, Crews says. Likewise, the data sits behind the firm’s firewall, where it is subject to IT security protocols, for protection.

Littler Mendelson declined to share how much it will charge clients for the assessment tool, but revealed that companies will be charged per assessment and on a tiered system determined by company size.

“We’ve actually positioning the tool as a flat fee,” Crews says. “Depending on the tier, there’s an assessment and ancillary services that our subject matter experts can provide going forward or playing off the assessment.”

The assessment tool is designed to be something that clients can fairly easily grab on to, Crews adds, noting the tool will help craft policies and create a profound shift in the way firms think about pay equity.

Once the firm establishes a robust data set from its clients, Littler Mendelson says it plans to create benchmarks and a data automation process to help employers understand how they compare to their competitors, attract talent and improve the company’s bottom line.

“I also think that in a world where #MeToo is one of the most driving diversity issues of the moment, pay equity is a part of that conversation,” Crews says.

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