U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

BALTIMORE — Citing a disparity in pay of as much as $23,000, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed suit against the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration claiming gender disparity.

According to EEOC, the SHA has violated federal law by paying a male employee with more experience less than female counterparts. In a statement released Tuesday the agency reports that Robert Rager has worked for the SHA since 2007 as a district community liaison.

“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,” the statement continues.

Debra M. Lawrence, EEOC regional attorney, called this a violation of the basic tenet of pay equality and violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

“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,” Lawrence said.

EEOC attempted a pre-litigation settlement, which was unsuccessful. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

“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.

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