Security Company Paid Female Employees Lower Wages Than Male Employees For Equal Work, Federal Agency Charged
BALTIMORE – Maryland-based Davis & Davis Enterprise, Inc., an employer of security guards that also operates under the name All Secure Security Company, has agreed to resolve a federal sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
According to the suit, Davis & Davis employs armed security guards at detention centers in Baltimore but also offers its employees occasional opportunities to work as security personnel at events in the Baltimore area. The EEOC charged that Davis & Davis paid a small group of female employees a lower wage for such events from October 2016 to March 2018 than male employees performing the same work.
Such alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EPA requires that employees performing work requiring equal skill, effort and responsibility and under similar working conditions be paid the same wage rate for that work regardless of sex. Title VII similarly prohibits sex discrimination in employee compensation practices. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Davis & Davis Enterprise, Inc. t/a All Security Group Company, Civil Action No. 1:19-cv-01625) in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.
The two-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit requires Davis & Davis to conduct a self-assessment of its pay practices, including a review and analysis of all wage rates paid during a required reporting period, to ensure the absence of any sex-based pay differential, and report its pay information to the EEOC. The decree also enjoins Davis & Davis from committing any future violations of the EPA or Title VII in its compensation. Davis & Davis will pay lost wages to the female employees and an equal amount of liquidated damages authorized by the EPA. Davis & Davis will also conduct training, revise policies, and report to the EEOC any future sex discrimination complaints.
“While the pay disparities at issue in this litigation were relatively small and occurred over a brief time period, the problem of the wage gap that is experienced by women workers in the United States, particularly women of color, is enormous and persistent,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. “The EEOC will continue to enforce the Equal Pay Act’s requirement of equal pay for equal work in individual cases and to address the broader problem of the sex-based wage gap through its strategic enforcement of federal law.”
Jamie R. Williamson, director of the EEOC Philadelphia District Office, added “We commend Davis & Davis for working with EEOC to address the unequal pay issues identified in the case. It is important for employers to engage in self-assessment and auditing of pay practices to prevent Equal Pay Act violations and to build positive workplace morale through a commitment to fairness.”
The EEOC's Philadelphia District Office has jurisdiction over Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. Attorneys in the EEOC Philadelphia District Office also prosecute discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.