• Supreme Court Ponders "Cat’s Paw" Liability High Court Leaves Important Questions Unanswered
  • March 17, 2011 | Authors: Michael W. Johnston; Samuel M. Matchett
  • Law Firm: King & Spalding LLP - Atlanta Office
  • “Cat’s paw” liability arises when a well-intentioned employer acts on the recommendation of an employee intending to unlawfully discriminate against another. “In such a case, the recommender [uses] the decisionmaker as a mere conduit, or ‘cat’s paw’ to give effect to the recommender’s discriminatory animus.” Crawford v. Carroll, 529 F. 3d 961, 979 n. 21 (11th Cir. 2008) (citations omitted). Traditionally, an employer escapes “cat’s paw” liability by demonstrating that it conducted an independent investigation and did not simply rubberstamp the discriminating employee’s decisions.