Our old friend Robert Rank-And-File is at it again. He has sued his employer, Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware, Inc., in federal court. Robert claims that Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware, Inc. violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it failed to promote him because of his gender, national origin and race. Before he initiated his lawsuit, Robert filed a charge of discrimination with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. But Robert has a problem. He filed his charge two years after he claims that Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware, Inc. failed to promote him. Under Title VII, his claim is now time-barred. But can he use the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to salvage his claim?
Find out after the jump...
Noel sued the employer for violation of Title VII as amended by the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (LLFPA) alleging failure to promote resulted in lower pay. The trial court granted the employer's motion for summary judgment. The 3rd Circuit affirmed.And there you have it. Our Robert Rank-and-File is out of luck. He argued that Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware, Inc. failed to promote him based on several protected classes. However, Robert never couched his claim as one where he was denied equal pay for equal work. Because he waited too long to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC for failure to promote claim, he is now time-barred from pursuing his Title VII claims in federal court. (Although Robert may be able to take advantage of the four-year statute of limitations available under 42 U.S.C. § 1981).
Noel argued that the LLFPA rendered his otherwise out-of-time administrative filing timely on his failure-to-promote claim resulting in lower pay, where each paycheck he received started the administrative clock anew. The court determined that, since Noel's pleadings never argued that he was denied equal pay for equal work, he pled a failure-to-promote claim and not a discrimination-in-compensation claim. Noting that the LLFPA was enacted with the specific intent to overrule the Supreme Court's Ledbetter pay discrimination decision, that the findings of the LLFPA focused on compensation decisions, and that compensation-related claims and failure-to-promote claims were distinct claims, the court joined the DC Circuit in concluding that the LLFPA did not apply to failure-to-promote claims.