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Cat's paw

Posted by Lewis on March 11, 2004

In Reply to: Cat's paw posted by Laura Fentonmiller on March 11, 2004

: There is a term that has been used in employment discrimination case law to describe a situation where someone who decides to fire an employee acts upon recommendation of the employee's supervisor, and therefore acts as the conduit of the supervisor's prejudice - his "cat's paw." Does anyone know the origin of this phrase? Thanks.

I do not know the origin, but it is a phrase that is used to describe either an henchman/hatchet man or an innocent dupe who gets to do somebody's dirty work.

it is the cat's paw that holds the claws but it the cat that makes the decision.