In a slip copy opinion authored by Judge William J. Martini, U.S.D.J., the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey held that the recently enacted New Jersey Equal Pay Act (NJEPA) does not have retroactive application. Perrotto v. Morgan Advanced Materials, PLC, 2019 WL 192903 (Jan. 15, 2019). The issue came before the court by a Motion to Dismiss, filed by Defendants. The court granted the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss without holding oral argument. This holding is important to employers as the potential damages for violation of the Equal Pay Act are the salary or wages due from the employer plus an additional equal amount as liquidated damages, as well as attorney's fees.
Plaintiff had the title Controller/Human Resources until her termination on April 5, 2018. Just three weeks later, the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act (codified at N.J.S.A. §34:11-56:13) was signed into law, which requires "pay equality across all protected classes." The Act became effective on July 1, 2018. Plaintiff filed this action on July 27, 2018, alleging gender discrimination under New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination and retaliatory compensation practices under the NJEPA. Her compensation claim alleged Defendants paid male employees more than female employees, for substantially similar work.