Racial Discrimination or Poor Performance? The 7th Circuit Must Decide

Oct 21, 2015

Suppose a factory worker consistently fails to meet her employer’s productivity goals and is eventually terminated for poor performance. An open-and-shut case, right? Not so fast. A recent decision by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin—illustrates the intricacies of the so-called cat’s-paw theory of liability, premised on the ability of a culpable actor to use an innocent decision maker as an unknowing tool of her animus.

The complete article originally appeared on HR.BLR.com.

SLB-black-and-whiteThis article was written by Steven L. Benneman who is a partner at Fox, Swibel, Levin & Carroll, LLP, and an editor of the Illinois Employment Law Letter. He can be reached at sbrenneman@fslc.com.