Occupational Safety & Health Reporter℠

Nike Faces Reinstated Whistleblower Claims in Oregon (1)

July 19, 2019, 3:04 PMUpdated: July 19, 2019, 9:03 PM

Nike Inc. will face reinstated claims that it fired an employee in retaliation for his safety complaints and whistleblowing thanks to a precedent-setting decision by a state high court.

The Oregon Supreme Court ruled July 18 that workers can use the “cat’s paw” theory—when a neutral decision-maker transmits the unlawful bias of somebody who can’t make employment decisions—to establish a company’s liability under state workplace laws.

Douglas Ossanna is entitled to a new trial because the judge should have given a cat’s paw jury instruction informing the panel that it could impute a subordinate supervisor’s retaliatory motive to the Nike...

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