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Judge denies Pratt library’s request to stay EEOC lawsuit

A federal judge has denied the city’s request to stay proceedings in a lawsuit filed against the Enoch Pratt Free Library, according to an order filed Thursday.

In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore last month, city attorneys asked Judge Catherine C. Blake to grant a temporary stay of discovery in the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission until the Supreme Court decides whether it’s going to grant certiorari in Rizo v. Yovino, in which the federal appeals court held that past salary, either alone or in combination with other factors, cannot be used to justify a difference in wages between male and female employees.

In the order, Blake states that it’s unclear whether and how the decision in Rizo will impact the resolution in the case against the Pratt. It is also unclear when there might be a decision in the Rizo case, Blake states, adding that it might be as late as 2020.

Blake denied the motion “(because) of the possibility of a lengthy, unnecessary, and potentially prejudicial delay that would be created,” if the temporary stay was granted, the order states.

In a lawsuit filed in September 2017, the EEOC alleged the Pratt violated federal law by paying female librarian supervisors lower wages than their male counterparts. The mayor and City Council are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.

In August, Blake denied the city’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

The case is EEOC v. Enoch Pratt Free Library, et al., 1:17-cv-02860.

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