A few employers may be familiar with a recent US Supreme Court ruling on March 1, 2011, regarding the case of Staub v. Proctor Hospital, No. 09-400, and how “cat’s paw” liability played a part. Cat’s paw liability involves an employer being held liable for unlawful discrimination, even though the “motivating factor” in the employment decision-making process stems from an unlawful bias of a supervisor with no employment decision-making authority.
Cat’s Paw Derived from the La Fontaine Fable
Cat’s paw relates to a fable about how a monkey convinces a cat to steal chestnuts from a fire, steals the same nuts from the cat, and then leaves the cat with empty but burnt paws. In the context of the workplace environment, the supervisor is the monkey as the employer is the cat.
Apply Seven Preventive Measures to Minimize Cat’s Paw Liability
To find out seven preventive measures companies can take to minimize cat’s paw liability, be sure to read the featured article by the HR pros at MyHRSupportCenter, Is Cat’s Paw Liability Scratching at Your Door?. If you’re not yet signed up or would like a free trial of MyHRSupportCenter, contact Vision Payroll today.