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Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration Resolves EEOC Sex Discrimination Lawsuit with $40,000 Settlement

Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOTSHA), the agency overseeing Maryland’s state highways, has agreed to a $40,000 settlement in an equal pay lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Maryland EEOC Lawyers announced today.

Per the EEOC’s allegations, MDOTSHA consistently paid a male district community liaison (DCL) less than his female counterparts, despite his superior experience and tenure. His attempts to rectify the wage disparity or seek clarification were reportedly disregarded.

The purported actions violate the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits wage discrimination based on gender for comparable work. After attempts at pre-litigation resolution failed, the EEOC initiated legal proceedings in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (EEOC v. Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, Case No. 1:22-cv-00061-BAH).

Under the terms of the consent decree resolving the case, MDOTSHA will pay $40,000 in monetary relief to the male DCL, covering backpay and other damages. Additionally, MDOTSHA must cease future wage discrimination or retaliation, adjust the male employee’s salary retroactively to match that of a higher-paid female counterpart, and make commensurate adjustments to his pension. The agency is also mandated to conduct training for human resources and management personnel involved in compensation decisions and issue a notice to employees.

Debra Lawrence, Regional Attorney for the EEOC in Philadelphia, emphasized, “While wage disparities often impact women, the Equal Pay Act applies to men as well. Employers must ensure compliance with pay regulations and be ready to rectify any discrepancies.”

Rosemarie Rhodes, Director of EEOC’s Baltimore Field Office, added, “In addition to legal mandates, fairness demands that employees receive equitable compensation for similar work. The EEOC remains committed to assisting any employee encountering perceived violations of the law.”

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