Jan 28, 2013

Age Discrimination and the “Cat’s Paw” Liability Theory

In Sims v. MVM, Inc., Case No. 11-14481 (decided Jan. 17, 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit addressed how to apply the “cat’s paw” theory of liability in an age discrimination case. The “cat’s paw” theory works like this.  Supervisor A terminates an employee.  There is no evidence that Supervisor A had any discriminatory animus towards the employee.  However, Supervisor B, who allegedly had discriminatory animus, induced Supervisor A to terminate the employee.  Supervisor A allegedly acted as a mere “cat’s paw” to give effect to the discrimination animus of Supervisor B, making the employer… Read more