Anderson v. State University of New York at New Paltz, 169 F.3d 117 (2d Cir. 1999 )

This federal district court case raised the issue of whether the Equal Pay Act (EPA) validly abrogates states' Eleventh Amendment immunity from suit by individuals for monetary damages in federal court after the Supreme Court decision in Kimel. Dr. Janice Anderson sued the administration alleging a number of claims, including violation of the EPA. She claimed that since 1984 she has been paid less than male faculty of similar rank at her institution despite her equivalent or superior qualifications, record, and workload. The university sought to dismiss the suit, contending that it was immune from the EPA claim under the Eleventh Amendment, and the district court rejected the university's argument. The university appealed and in February 1999 the Second Circuit upheld the district court ruling. Under its Kimel decision, the Supreme Court returned the case to the Second Circuit for reconsideration. The Second Circuit, in turn, remanded the case to federal district court. In June 2000 the AAUP joined a friend-of-the-court brief that was authored by the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) and joined by a number of groups, including the National Partnership for Women and Families and the National Women's Law Center. AAUP is concerned that exempting public entities, like state universities, from individual EPA claims for monetary damages will impair the ability of professors to protect themselves from wage discrimination.

Status: In July 2000 the federal district court denied the university's motion for summary judgment.