Discrimination law encompasses many different types of actions and discrimination can take many different forms. This is why it is important to contact lawyers such as Tayeb Hyderally whose expertise lies in the field of employment law. The world of employment law can be difficult to figure out if you do not have help from a qualified legal expert. Ty Hyderally is just that and has many years of successful litigation behind him. It is important for employees and employers to stay informed on the constantly changing world of employment law, especially as it pertains to discrimination. Tayeb Hyderally makes it his business to help companies and individuals be aware of their rights and responsibilities in this area. Alexander v Seton Hall University was a case that made everyone take a second look at New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
In Alexander v Seton Hall University three professors who were female and over 60 years old sued the school. Their claim was that they were paid less than male colleagues who were much younger. They used one annual report filed by the university for the 2004-2005 school year. The report made it obvious that Seton Hall indeed paid younger male professors higher amounts than older female members of the faculty.
The trial court dismissed the case stating that the discriminatory actions occurred more than two years prior to when the employees filed suit. The statute of limitations sets a limit for discriminatory wages at two years. New Jersey’s Appellate Division also upheld this decision based on Ledbetter v Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. in 2007. This case was decided by the US Supreme Court and set the time limitations for such cases.
However, the New Jersey Supreme Court did not agree with these two lower courts. Although the lower courts can use federal law cases for guidance, it does not have to follow the rulings, especially when concerning the LAD. The NJ Supreme Court ruled that each time a discriminatory payment was made it was a separate violation of the law and the two year limit applies to each one.
The Ledbetter case received much criticism since many times employees do not know for a very long time that they are being paid less than other colleagues. If they are unaware that they are being paid considerably less it is difficult to file a suit. It is very possible that the statute of limitations can be surpassed long before an employee becomes aware that their pay is less than other employees. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 was passed in response to the case to bring a balance to the law. This act makes it a separate violation each time an employee is given benefits, paid wages or receives any compensation that is based upon a prior discriminatory decision.
Alexander v Seton Hall University made it clear that one can sue when they receive lower wages based on discriminatory decisions. However, it also reminds employees that it is very important to make a timely claim and not wait too long to file suit.