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Press Release 01-23-2024

Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration to Pay $40,000 to Settle EEOC Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

State Government Agency Will Also Make Retroactive Salary Adjustments

BALTIMORE – Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOTSHA), the agency that oversees the state highways throughout Maryland, will pay $40,000 to settle an equal pay lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, for several years up to the present, MDOTSHA paid a male district community liaison (DCL) lower wages than it paid to his female counterparts, even though the male had greater experience and tenure in the job. His requests to equalize his pay or to explain the reasons for the pay discrepancy went ignored. 

Such alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits pay discrimination between persons of the opposite sex for performing equal work. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (EEOC v. Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, Case No. 1:22-cv-00061-BAH), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

In addition to the $40,000 in monetary relief paid to the male DCL named in the suit, consisting of backpay and other damages, the consent decree resolving the litigation prohibits future pay discrimination or retaliation and requires MDOTSHA to increase the male’s salary to what a higher paid female was earning, to account for this adjustment retroactively, and to adjust his pension accordingly. MDOTSHA will also provide training for human resources and management officials involved in compensation decisions and a notice to employees.

Debra Lawrence, the EEOC’s Regional Attorney in Philadelphia said, “Though pay disparity for performing equal work most often affects women in the workplace, the Equal Pay Act applies to males as well. Employers should be mindful about their pay systems and be prepared to adjust their employees’ compensation in accordance with the law.”

EEOC’s Baltimore Field Office Director Rosemarie Rhodes said, “In addition to the law itself, fundamental fairness dictates that employees receive equal pay for equal work. The EEOC is here to assist any worker who believes the law is not being followed.” 

For more information on equal pay and compensation discrimination, please visit

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 prevents and remedies unlawful employment discrimination and advances equal opportunity for all. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.