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EEOC alleges gender discrimination in firing of Park School softball coach

A Baltimore County private school has been accused by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of allegedly failing to renew the contract of its softball coach because he is a man.

The Park School was sued in U.S. District Court on behalf of Richard Schneider, who began coaching the softball team in 2014.

Schneider’s contract was renewed in 2015 and 2016 and his performance was satisfactory, but the school hired a female head coach for the 2017 season, according to the complaint.

Schneider claims he was informed his contract was not renewed because of a “preference for female leadership.”

The Park School is a private, coed school located in Pikesville for students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, according to its website. The school’s athletics include 53 teams in 10 sports.

The EEOC determined there was reasonable cause to believe the school violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in February and engaged in talks attempt to remedy the alleged violation but no agreement was reached.

“Title VII protects both men and women from discrimination based on sex,” EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence said in a press release. “The law is clear: employers should make employment decisions based on the employee’s qualifications, not gender.”

The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting the Park School from engaging in discrimination based on gender and an order to develop and implement non-discrimination policies and pay Schneider back pay and other compensation.

A spokesperson for Park School did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

The case is U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Park School of Baltimore Inc., 1:18-cv-02319.

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