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Press Release 09-28-2022

EEOC Sues Maryland HVAC Company for Pay Discrimination

Male Project Managers Were Paid More Than Female Project Managers

BALTIMORE -- Mechanical Design Systems, Inc. (MDS), an HVAC design and installation services company with offices in Clinton, Maryland and operating in the greater Washington, DC metro area, violated civil rights law by paying female Project Managers less than male Project Managers on the basis of sex the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.

According to EEOC’s lawsuit, female Project Managers were paid less than male colleagues for performing equal work and, in many instances, the females were called upon to perform additional work or perform relevant duties their male colleagues could not.  The female Project Managers were paid between 30% and 50% less than their male colleagues, despite having more experience and seniority in the position and at all times satisfactorily performing their duties.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibit pay discrimination based on sex. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (EEOC v. Mechanical Design Systems, Inc., Case No. 8:22-cv-02463), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The EEOC’s litigation effort will be led by Senior Trial Attorney Thomas Rethage and Assistant Regional Attorney Maria L. Morocco.

“Equal pay for equal work – it’s not only fundamentally fair, it’s required by law,” said Debra Lawrence, EEOC’s Regional Attorney in Philadelphia. “The EEOC will hold employers accountable when they violate that obligation.”

EEOC’s Baltimore Field Office Director Rosemarie Rhodes added, “While it has been nearly six decades since the Equal Pay Act and Title VII were passed, the fact that pay disparities persist confirms that we still have much work to do in eradicating sex-based pay discrimination.”

The EEOC is seeking back pay, liquidated damages, compensatory damages, the elimination of the pay disparities, and other injunctive relief to correct and prevent future pay discrimination

The EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys in the Philadelphia District Office also prosecute discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.