Press Release 09-27-2017

EEOC Sues Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore Mayor and City Council for Pay Discrimination

City Paid Female Librarian Supervisors Less Than Their Male Colleague, Federal Agency Charges

BALTIMORE - Baltimore and its Enoch Pratt Free Library violated federal law by paying female librarian supervisors lower wages than a male coworker because of gender, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.

According to the suit, Ann Marie Harvey began working as a librarian in Baltimore's Neighborhood Library Services Division librarian in 1997, and was promoted to a librarian supervisor I position in 2002. In June 2015, Enoch Pratt Library hired a male as a librarian supervisor I. The male had worked for Enoch Pratt previously but left more than a year earlier to accept employment at a smaller library system. Prior to his resignation, he earned a lower annual salary than Harvey and other female librarians based on their respective years of service and experience.

The EEOC charges that Enoch Pratt did not follow its internal hiring policies and rehired the male even though it did not have a specific librarian supervisor I vacancy, placing him at a library branch which already had a library supervisor I. Enoch Pratt paid the male $6,000 more than Harvey, and in the range of $1,000 to $6,000 more than four other female librarian supervisors, even though the female librarian supervisors all had more years of library and librarian supervisor I experience, the EEOC says.

Such alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits discrimination in compensation based on sex. The EEOC first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process before filing suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern Division (EEOC v. Enoch Pratt Free Library, et al., Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-02860).

"The EEOC is fully and absolutely committed to ensuring that women receive equal pay for equal work," said EEOC District Director Kevin Berry.

EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence added, "Ms. Harvey and the other female librarian supervisors performed the same duties as their male coworker and had more years of experience but were paid thousands less simply because of their gender. That is both unfair and illegal - and that's why we filed this lawsuit."

Ensuring equal pay protections for all workers is one of six national priorities identified by the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan.

The EEOC's Baltimore Field Office is one of four offices in the Philadelphia District Office, which has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia 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.