The term “cat’s paw” derives from one of Aesop’s Fables about a monkey and a cat from the 17th century. In the fable the monkey tricks a cat into stealing chestnuts from a fire causing the cat’s paws to burn. While the cat’s paws are burning the monkey runs away with the chestnuts. Courts have used this fable as a metaphor to describe situations where a non-decision- making employee with discriminatory motives, or the monkey, influences the actual decision maker, or the cat, to take adverse employment action against an employee.
In a decision issued on August 13, 2015, the Seventh Circuit cited the cat’s paw theory holding that a former laboratory employee of Polaris Laboratories, LLC (Polaris) presented sufficient evidence to preserve her racial discrimination and retaliation claims against Polaris.
The Department of Labor proposes significant change to overtime rules
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently published a proposed rule to revise the regulations issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that would change the way employers implement the exemption from minimum wage and overtime pay for executive, administrative, professional and other exempt employees.
Employees' rights to extra pay: The Illinois Wage Payment Collection Act's regulations on bonus and vacation pay
When separated employees seek the final compensation their former employers owe them under Illinois’ Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA), questions may arise regarding how bonus and vacation pay are accounted for. Under the IWPCA, an employer is required to pay its former employees final compensation, which includes any wages, salaries, earned bonuses and commissions, the monetary equivalents to unused earned vacation time, and “any other compensation owed the employee by the employer pursuant to an employment contract or agreement between the two parties.”
To the extent that the information contained in this newsletter concerns federal or state tax issues, such information was not written or intended to be used, and cannot be used, for (1) avoiding federal or state tax penalties or (2) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.