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Press Release 01-11-2022

EEOC Sues Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration for Pay Discrimination

Male District Community Liaison Paid Less Than His Female Colleagues, Federal Agency Charges

BALTIMORE -- Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) violated federal law by paying a male district community liaison lower wages than his female co­workers because of gender, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.

According to the suit, Robert Rager began working as a district community liaison for the MDOT SHA in 2007, a public affairs and community relations position, and he continues in this job function. Around May 2015, MDOT SHA hired a female into the position occupied by Rager, transferred Rager to the same job in another district, and paid to Rager’s female successor several thousand dollars more than what had been paid to Rager. Additional female successors eventually occupied Rager’s former position, all paid by MDOT SHA thousands of dollars more than what it paid to Rager. Females performing the same work in other districts similarly were paid thousands of dollars more than Rager, all with less seniority and experience than Rager. The salary disparities were as great as approximately $23,000, 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. Maryland Department of Transportation, State Highway Administration, C.A. No. 1:22-cv-00061-DLB).

“The EEOC is fully and absolutely committed to ensuring that gender is not factored into compensation and that employees must receive equal pay for equal work,” said EEOC District Director Jamie Williamson.

EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence added, “That Mr. Rager performed the same duties as his female successors and coworkers in other districts, had more years of experience, but was paid thousands less, 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. More information about pay discrimination can be found at

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.