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A two-year statute of limitations applies to a discrimination in pay claim brought under the New Jersey law against discrimination regardless of the enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

January 1, 2010
Alexander v. Seton Hall University, Docket No. A-1251-08T3 (Dec. 7, 2009)

Three long-time female Seton Hall University Professors filed suit against the University alleging age and sex discrimination in pay in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("NJLAD"). The trial court dismissed those allegations relating to wage decisions made more than two years prior to the filing of suit based upon a conclusion that they were time barred. On appeal the plaintiffs asserted that the limitation imposed on the claim was improper since they were entitled to argue that a continuing violation existed and that the trial court's reliance upon the United States Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear was inappropriate given the subsequent enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which overturned the Supreme Court's decision. In affirming the decision, the Appellate Division concluded that the continuing violation doctrine was inapplicable since each pay decision was a discrete act for statute of limitations purposes. Further, the court concluded that the NJLAD typically followed federal jurisprudence and, therefore, the New Jersey Supreme Court would likely follow the U.S. Court decisions and not the subsequent legislative enactment, especially since the New Jersey Legislature had not amended the NJLAD to mirror the changes made to Title VII.

Case Law Alert - 1st Qtr 2010

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Lawrence B. Berg
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(856) 414-6031
lbberg@mdwcg.com

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