New Dimensions, Inc. v. TarquiniAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff was hired by New Dimensions, Inc. (NDI) as a design and sales consultant. Plaintiff was paid a commission of 2.12 percent of her total sales, but other design and sales consultants, both male and female, previously hired by NDI were paid commissions of 2.25 percent. Plaintiff was subsequently terminated by NDI and was not paid commissions for certain sales she had secured. Plaintiff filed this amended complaint against NDI alleging breach of contract, quantum meruit, and violation of the federal Equal Pay Act (EPA). In its answer, NDI did not affirmatively plead the four defenses articulated in the statute. The circuit court determined that NDI was prohibited from presenting evidence in defense of the EPA claim and precluded the introduction of evidence related to those defenses. The circuit court ruled in favor of Plaintiff on the EPA claim. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the defenses set forth in the EPA are affirmative but were not waived under the facts presented in this case; and (2) therefore, the circuit court erred in preventing NDI from presenting evidence of its gender-neutral compensation system at trial. Remanded.