Man earned thousands less than women doing the same job, lawsuit says. He’s owed $40K

A man earned thousands of dollars less than his female co-workers who held the same job as him, according to a federal sex discrimination lawsuit.

When the state employee asked for equal pay, his employer in Maryland ignored him and wouldn’t explain the wage discrepancies, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said in a Jan. 23 news release.

He has worked for the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration as a district community liaison since 2007, according to the lawsuit filed by the EEOC.

Now, the department has agreed to pay the man $40,000 in back pay and damages to settle the lawsuit, according to the EEOC.

It will also raise his salary to pay him the same amount as one higher paid female employee, the agency said. His pension will also be adjusted.

McClatchy News reached out to attorneys representing the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration for comment on Jan. 23 and didn’t receive a response.

Paying employees less than those of the opposite sex who perform equal work violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

“Though pay disparity for performing equal work most often affects women in the workplace, the Equal Pay Act applies to males as well,” Debra Lawrence, the EEOC’s regional attorney in Philadelphia, said in a statement.

The settlement comes after the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration paid female district liaisons more than the man since 2015, “even though (he) had greater experience and tenure in the job,” according to the EEOC.

In 2015, the department had the man train a woman who was recently hired as a district community liaison. It paid her $11,000 more than him, the lawsuit says.

By 2018, the department was paying another female district community liaison nearly $23,000 more than the man, according to the lawsuit.

The EEOC accused the department of withholding wages owed to the man because of the pay discrepancies.

A consent decree that resolves the case bans the department from engaging in pay discrimination or retaliation going forward, according to the EEOC.

The department will also train human resources employees and managers who make decisions related to pay as part of the consent decree, the agency said.

“In addition to the law itself, fundamental fairness dictates that employees receive equal pay for equal work,” Rosemarie Rhodes, the EEOC’s Baltimore field office director, said in a statement.

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