Employers Take Note: Cat’s Paw Back In Action

Law360, New York (December 10, 2009, 1:39 PM EST) -- Until recently, “cat’s paw” liability had taken a backseat to other employment issues on the Supreme Court’s agenda, including questions of adverse impact, age discrimination and fair pay. Recent developments demonstrate that “cat’s paw” may well be coming back into the spotlight, and employers better be ready.

“Cat’s paw,” a term that comes from a La Fontaine fable in which a monkey dupes a cat into burning its paws to scoop out chestnuts from a fire, refers to situations where a direct supervisor discriminatorily motivated against...
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