EMPLOYER DISCRIMINATION; DEFENSES – Lack of Knowledge of Protected Activity
Single Topic for Decision 2445E
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505.12000 – Lack of Knowledge of Protected Activity
In the employment law context, cat’s paw refers to an innocent or unwitting person or entity being used as a conduit to accomplish another’s purpose; PERB employs a cat’s paw theory of liability, referred to as subordinate bias liability; the unlawful motive of a subordinate supervisorial employee may be imputed to the decision-maker responsible for authorizing the adverse action where the lower-level official’s recommendation, evaluation or report was motivated by the employee’s protected conduct, the lower-level official intended for their conduct to result in adverse action, and the lower level official’s conduct was a motivating factor or proximate cause of the decision to take adverse action.