In Noel v. The Boeing Co., the 3rd Circuit was forced to determine how far to stretch the limits of the Fair Pay Act enacted in 2007. The FPA was enacted to remedy pay discrimination between employees of similar stature. The Act states that each time an employee receives a paycheck that is issued as a result of the discrimination, the statutory period restarts, giving employees ample time to file a claim even if they do not learn about the discrimination for a significant period of time.
In Boeing, the plaintiff, Emmanuel Noel, a Haitian, was claiming he was the victim of pay discrimination when his Caucasian co-workers were promoted but he was not. His employer argued that his claim was time-barred, since the promotion decisions were made in 2002 and 2003. The 3rd Circuit was forced to consider whether a failure to be promoted would allow the plaintiff’s claims to be protected under the FPA. The Court determined that it would not. It stated that the FPA enforces equal pay for equal work, but here Noel was comparing his pay to the salary of those who worked in different positions. Thus his case falls outsides the confines of the FPA and he was unable to pursue his claim.
Thanks to Remy Lapidus for her contribution to this post.