New Jersey Senate Introduces “Lilly Ledbetter” Bill

On May 14, 2012, a bill (S1933) was introduced in the Senate that would track the federal “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009,” as well as the New Jersey Supreme Court’s holding in Alexander v. Seton Hall University, 204 N.J. 219 (2010). The legislation provides that each discriminatory compensation decision or other employment practice that violates the NJLAD occurs anew with each subsequent paycheck the employee receives that reflects the employer’s initial underlying discriminatory pay practice. The bill, therefore, would codify that each discriminatory paycheck “restarts” the applicable two-year statute of limitations governing discriminatory compensation claims under the NJLAD. The bill further provides that it is within the court’s discretion to treat such discriminatory compensation decisions as a “continuing violation,” potentially allowing employees to recover back pay for periods exceeding the NJLAD’s two-year statute of limitations. This provision of the bill, therefore, would in effect overturn a portion of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s ruling in Alexander, which limited an employer’s back pay exposure in such cases to the two years preceding the filing of a complaint. This bill is identical to an Assembly Bill (A2650) that was discussed in the April 2012 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.

Note: this article was published in the June 2012 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.