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Press Release 05-09-2023

Mechanical Design Systems, Inc. to Pay $210,000 to Settle EEOC Pay Discrimination Lawsuit

HVAC Design and Installation Company Resolves Alleged Discrimination Against Female Employees by Paying Them Less than Male Employees

BALTIMORE -- Mechanical Design Systems, Inc. (MDS), a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) design and installation services company with offices in Clinton, Maryland and operating in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area, has agreed to pay $210,000 and provide other relief to settle a pay discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) the federal agency announced today.

According to EEOC’s lawsuit, female project managers were paid less than male colleagues to perform equal work and, in many instances, the females were called upon to perform additional work or duties. The female project managers were paid significantly less than their male colleagues despite having more experience and seniority in the position and satisfactorily performing their duties.

This 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.

In addition to the $210,000 in monetary relief paid to two female employees named in the lawsuit, the consent decree resolving the litigation requires MDS to take affirmative steps to prevent pay discrimination in the future. This includes implementation of enhanced compensation and discrimination policies, training for human resources and management officials involved in compensation decisions, and notices to employees about their rights. MDS has also agreed to raise the pay of a still-employed female project manager to correspond with her male counterpart.

"Ensuring equal pay for equal work remains a priority for the EEOC,” said Philadelphia Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. “We are pleased MDS worked cooperatively with the EEOC to resolve this matter and has agreed to proactive steps to prevent pay discrimination in its workplace.” 

EEOC Philadelphia District Director Jamie Williamson said “all employers should be mindful of possible pay discrimination and ask themselves whether opposite-sex employees who perform the same work are paid differently, and if so, whether real, non-sex factors explain the disparity.” 

For more information about equal pay and compensation, see:

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.