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HVAC company settles EEOC pay discrimination suit


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday said a Maryland heating, ventilation and air conditioning design and installation services company will pay $210,000 to settle a pay discrimination lawsuit in which it was charged with paying female employees less than their male counterparts.

The EEOC said in a statement that Clinton, Maryland-based Mechanical Design Systems Inc., which operates in the greater Washington, D.C., area, paid female project managers significantly less than their male colleagues despite having more experience and seniority, and in many instances called upon them to perform additional work or duties.

The company, which was sued in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland, was charged with violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

In addition to paying $210,000 to two female employees named in the lawsuit, the company is required under the consent decree resolving the litigation to take affirmative steps to prevent pay discrimination in the future, including implementing enhanced compensation and discrimination policies, among other measures.

Debra M. Lawrence, EEOC Philadelphia regional attorney, said in a statement, “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.” 

The company’s attorneys did not respond to a request for comment.