Legal Memorandum: Equal Pay Act Claims in NJ

Issue: Does the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in Alexander v. Seton Hall University apply to an Equal Pay Act claim?

Area of Law: Employee Law, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Equal Pay Act claim; Statute of limitations
Jurisdiction: New Jersey
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: N.J. Stat. § 10:5-1, § 2A:14-2(a), § 10:5-12(a)
Date: 10/01/2011

The law in New Jersey has evolved over the past several years as to the issue of the applicability of filing limitations in the applicable statutes.  Recently, the New Jersey Supreme Court, in Alexander v. Seton Hall University, 204 N.J. 219, 8 A.3d 198 (2010), held that each payment of discriminatory wages constitutes an actionable wrong that is remedied under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination  (LAD) (N.J. Stat. § 10:5-1 et seq.).

As noted in the Alexander case, N.J. Stat. § 2A:14-2(a)  provides that “[e]very action at law for an injury to the person caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default of any person within this State shall be commenced within two years next after the cause of any such action shall have accrued.”  Thus it would appear that an Equal Pay Act claim is governed by the same statute of limitations as an LAD claim.  Based on a comparison of the language of the EPA and the LAD, it would also appear that the Alexander rationale may apply equally to discriminatory-wage EPA claims as it does to discriminatory-wage LAD claims.

The New Jersey Equal Pay Act, also sometimes referred to as the Discrimination in Wages Act,*FN1 provides that “[n]o employer shall discriminate in any way in the rate or method of payment of wages to any employee because of his or her sex.”  N. J. Stat. § 34:11-56.2 (2011).  Further,

[i]f any employee, because of his or her employer’s violation […]


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