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Supreme Court Upholds “Cats Paw” Liability In Discrimination Case

Published by on March 3, 2011

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in Staub v. Proctor Hospital, upholding the use of the so-called “cats paw” theory as a method of proving discrimination.  More after the break. The Court specifically held that “[i]f a supervisor performs an act motivated by antimilitary animus that is intended by the supervisor to […]

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in Staub v. Proctor Hospital, upholding the use of the so-called “cats paw” theory as a method of proving discrimination.  More after the break.

The Court specifically held that “[i]f a supervisor performs an act motivated by antimilitary animus that is intended by the supervisor to cause an adverse employment action, and if that act is a proximate cause of the ultimate employment action, then the employer is liable under USERRA.”  Although the case arose under USERRA and not one of the other civil rights laws such as Title VII, some commentators hope that the courts will apply the “cats paw” theory in those cases as well.  Other blogs with commentary can be found here, here, here and here.

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