Cat’s Paws and Employment Law

July 19th, 2013

“Pratfalls, Cat’s Paws, and Fact Questions” was the title of a July 16, 2013 Webcast in which H&A attorney Susan Coler was a presenter. The broadcast provided employment attorneys’ with updated information about retaliation statutes and legal theories to maximize success when litigating employment claims.

What is a Cat’s Paw? It’s a theory where a biased lower level manager or co-worker influences a higher-level manager to retaliate against an employee. It has been effectively used to achieve success for employees who have experienced retaliation in the workplace because of who they are or because they blew the whistle on illegal conduct. The webcast also discussed recent developments in litigating Workers’ Compensation Act retaliation claims, including threat of termination as a claim and entitlement to a jury trial.

Finally, Coler discussed a clarification of the Minnesota Whistleblower Act that articulates “good faith” as only that an employee’s reports of illegal conduct are neither knowingly false nor made in reckless disregard of the truth. This distinction provides better protection for those employees who blow the whistle on their employer.

For more information about the webcast or if you feel you have been retaliated against, contact Susan Coler.

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