Monday, March 7, 2011

Employer Liable for Discriminatory Adviser in Firing: Supreme Court

Workforce Management
March 1, 2011

The high court ruled 8-0 in favor of overturning the 7th Circuit opinion, with Justices Samuel Alito Jr. and Clarence Thomas supporting a concurring opinion, and Justice Elena Kagan not taking part in the decision.

Employers can be held liable for discriminatory conduct even if the person making the decision was not discriminatory but relied in part on those who were, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled March 1.
The court’s unanimous ruling in Vincent E. Staub v. Proctor Hospital supports what is called the “cat’s paw” theory of liability.
According to the opinion, Staub, an angiography technician at Proctor Hospital in Peoria, Illinois, was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, which required him to attend drills one weekend per month and train full time two to three weeks a year.

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