Raising the Bar While Flattening the Curve: How Predictive Analytics are Supporting COVID-Era Employment Law Practices

  • June 16, 2020
  • Andrew Monkhouse, Monkhouse Law, Kim Condon, Blue J Legal

If we’ve learned one thing in recent months, it is the power of data. Statistical modeling revealed the importance of social distancing to “flatten the curve”. Now that restrictions are starting to ease, data is being used to guide decisions about when to resume normal activities.

Public health is only one of the areas in which data-based predictions can help guide decision making. Some of the most forward-leaning employment law firms are harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) to uncover hidden patterns in case law, expedite their intake process, and support client positions with data-backed predictions. Here are a few examples of the ways in which predictive analytics can help address the particular needs of employment lawyers in 2020.

Supporting positions with third-party, data-backed insights

COVID-19 has created new and significant legal challenges for employers and employees. These include evolving workplace health and safety risks, handling staffing reductions, and satisfying the duty to accommodate while working remotely.

Predictive technologies are helping practitioners determine the reasonable length of notice an employee may be entitled to upon dismissal and the dollar amount payable to a dismissed employee as pay in lieu of reasonable notice. For instance, Employment Foresight’s reasonable notice predictor, assesses the unique factors of a client’s case and compares them to the notice awarded in previously decided cases. The machine produces predictions within 8% of the notice period awarded by the courts.

Additionally, employers transitioning back to the office following mandatory work from home arrangements are required to accommodate workers’ disabilities up to the point of undue hardship, including employees with invisible disabilities who might not have needed accommodation before. In such instances, game-changing search functions offer a new method of searching for cases by specific factors including the type of disability, accommodation requested and the presence of hazardous conditions. This enables lawyers to find cases that are similar to your client’s situation in a fraction of the time it would take using traditional keyword searching.