Oregon Supreme Court broadens employer liability under 'cat's paw' theory

The Oregon Supreme Court has adopted a legal concept known as the "cat's paw" theory, under which an employer may be liable for discrimination after an adverse employment decision against an employee even though the ultimate decision maker is unbiased and has no discriminatory motives. Under the theory, a subordinate's discriminatory motive is imputed to the actual decision maker if the biased subordinate has some significant influence or involvement that leads to the adverse action.

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