Bias theory upheld in reservist case

Business Insurance

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision upholding the "cat's paw" theory of liability could make it far more difficult for employers to win dismissal of cases alleging job-related discrimination. As a result of a unanimous ruling in Vincent E. Staub vs. Proctor Hospital, experts say that employers will have to conduct a thorough investigation before taking an adverse job action to be sure that no one in a chain of command acted with a discriminatory motive. Phil Berkowitz states that the court held "that if someone has a discriminatory animus" and "puts in place a process the end of which is that an employee is discharged, or suffers any adverse employment consequence, then the fact that he kept his discriminatory animus a secret can't be used as defense by the employer."

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