Bias Theory Upheld in Reservist Case

March 7, 2011 – In The News
Business Insurance

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding what is known as the “cat’s paw” theory of liability could make it far more difficult for employers to win dismissal of cases alleging job-related discrimination because courts will have to consider individual facts of each case. In Vincent E. Straub vs. Proctor Hospital, the Court ruled employers will now 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.

Jeffrey D. Polsky said even a case involving a single employee plaintiff easily could cost more than $100,000 to bring to trial, and it is not unusual for costs to reach several hundred thousand dollars – even if an employer ultimately is vindicated.