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PRESS RELEASE
4-20-15

EEOC Sues Maryland Insurance Administration for Sex-Based Pay Discrimination

Insurance Regulatory Agency Paid Female Investigators Less Than Male Investigators, Federal Agency Charges

BALTIMORE - The Maryland Insurance Administration, an independent state agency that regulates Maryland's insurance industry and enforces insurance laws, violated federal law by paying  female employees lower wages than men, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.

The EEOC says that since at least December 2009, the Maryland Insurance Administration paid Alexandra Cordaro, Mary Jo Rogers, Marlene Green and a class of similarly situated female investigators and enforcement officers lower wages than it paid to their male counterparts who were doing substantially equal work under similar working conditions.  The alleged wage discrimination took place at the agency's Baltimore office.  

Such alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) which prohibits discrimination in compensation based on sex.  The EEOC first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement before filing suit in U.S. District Court for the  District of Maryland, Northern Division (EEOC v. Maryland Insurance Administration,  Civil Action No. 1:15-cv-01091-JFM). 

"It's ironic and disturbing that a state law enforcement agency would pay female investigators and enforcement officers less than their male colleagues simply because of their gender in violation of federal law," said Spencer H. Lewis, Jr., district director of the EEOC's Philadelphia District Office.  

EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence added, "It's not just unfair when women are paid less than men when they do substantially equal work under similar working conditions-it's a blatant violation of federal law.  The EEOC is committed to ensuring that all employees, both public sector and private sector employees, receive the equal pay they deserve."  

Enforcement of equal pay laws and targeting compensation systems and practices that discriminate based on gender is of one of six national priorities identified by the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan.  

The EEOC Philadelphia District Office has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio.  The legal staff of the EEOC Philadelphia District Office also prosecutes discrimination cases arising from Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the agency is available at its website, www.eeoc.gov.