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EEOC alleges gender pay discrimination in two lawsuits

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced two lawsuits against Maryland businesses Monday. Both suits claim the companies illegally pay female employees less than their male counterparts.

A Baltimore-based security company, Davis & Davis Enterprise Inc., is accused of paying 11 female security guards at a lower rate than male guards since at least October 2016, according to a news release. The employees “performed equal work under similar working conditions at events in Baltimore.”

The female employees were paid a flat rate of $72 to work events at Royal Farms Arena, while men working the same events were paid between $80 and $120, according to the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

“It is fundamentally unfair, and illegal, to pay women less than men for doing the same work,” EEOC attorney Debra M. Lawrence said in a statement. “The EEOC will step in to fight for people’s rights against sex-based wage discrimination.”

A phone call to the company was not immediately returned Tuesday.

The second lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, alleges a Rockville-based asset dealer paid female managers less than men who performed the same or less demanding work.

Asset Strategies International Inc., which specializes in precious metals, foreign currency and rare tangible assets, promoted a female employee to a management position after 11 months on the job; though her salary increased, she was paid $5,000 a year less than a newly hired male employee she was now supervising, according to a news release.

After one year as a manager, the woman still made between $2,000 and $12,000 less than male employees she was supervising, even after she received a raise. The male employees had no prior experience selling the assets the company specialized in and the management position required a higher degree of skill than the subordinate roles.

“It is blatantly unfair and unjust to pay a female manager lower wages than male employees she trained and supervised, especially when she had greater job responsibilities and they had less asset sales experience,” Lawrence said.

A phone call to the company was not immediately returned Tuesday.

The commission issued letters to the defendants notifying them of potential claims and attempted to resolve the disputes outside of court, according to the news releases. Both lawsuits seek back pay, liquidated damages and injunctive relief.

The cases are EEOC v. Davis & Davis Enterprise Inc., 1:19-cv-01625, and EEOC v. Asset Strategies International Inc., 8:19-cv-01626.

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