The National Law Journal has a good article this morning by Robert Niccolini regarding the ongoing split in the circuits on the issue of so-called "cat's paw" theory of liability in employment discrimination cases. Under the "cat's paw" theory, an employer can be held liable for discrimination when a final decision-maker is influenced to take an adverse action against another worker by a lower-level employee with discriminatory motives.
Employment lawyers are hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will resolve the current conflict in the federal circuits over the theory. On Nov. 9, the Supreme Court asked the solicitor general for the government's views on the case of Staub v. Proctor Hospital, which raises the cat's paw theory. The Court is considering whether to hear the case.