Cat's Paw

News & Analysis as of

The Cat Fights Back: 7th Circuit Discusses Cat's Paw Theory Post-Staub

In 2011, the United States Supreme Court made the"cat's paw" theory of liability significantly easier for employees to prove. An employee can establish a cat's paw theory of liability in an employment discrimination suit when...more

Cat’s Paw, Part II: “Termination Review” by Independent Decision Makers Can Break the Causal Chain

Last week, we wrote about the “Cat’s Paw” theory of liability —where a person is used unwittingly to accomplish another person’s discriminatory purpose in the workplace. A common example would be when a racist employee...more

Curing Cat’s-Paw

In a Title VII retaliation claim, a plaintiff has to prove protected conduct was the “but-for” cause of the materially adverse action. Can a plaintiff prove “but-for” causation relying on the supposed retaliatory animus of...more

“Cat’s Paw” – Or Perhaps “Tiger’s Paw” Theory Now

For those interested in the origin, the term “cat’s paw” derives from a fable of a monkey who employs flattery to convince a cat to pull chestnuts out of a fire. Today the term commonly refers to a person used unwittingly or...more

Can Employers in the Fifth Circuit Be Liable for Retaliation Under Title VII When the Decision Maker Had No Retaliatory Motive?

In Zamora v. City of Houston, 14-20125 (Aug. 19, 2015), the Fifth Circuit joined the Sixth, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits in holding that the “cat’s paw” theory of causation can also be utilized in Title VII retaliation cases,...more

Third Circuit Issues Employer-Friendly Ruling in Discrimination and Retaliation Case

On August 12, 2015, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a precedential opinion in Jones v. SEPTA, a discrimination and retaliation claim brought by a former employee of the Philadelphia-area transit agency. The Third...more

More than Just a Fable – Why the “Cat’s Paw” Matters for Employers

The Fable - “The Monkey and the Cat” is a fable (dating back to the 17th century or perhaps earlier) about a monkey who persuades a cat to pull chestnuts from the embers of a fire, only to take the reward for himself...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 33: The “Cat’s Paw” Doctrine: Conniving...

Over the fifty years of equal employment opportunity law jurisprudence, many obviously-named legal theories have emerged, including the Continuing Violations Doctrine, the Avoidable Consequences Doctrine, and the...more

The Supreme Court Narrows The Definition Of “Supervisor” – The Cat’s Meow For Corporations

Ellen Tabby, an African-American, has worked for Binge and Purr, a cat food manufacturing company, for several years....more

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