Sinclair Broadcast Group discriminated against an employee because of her race, in violation of federal law, a lawsuit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges.
The lawsuit accuses the Hunt Valley-based broadcaster of discriminating against a Black analyst who worked for the company in Cockeysville by underpaying her and forcing her from her job. The employee reported the pay discrimination to the company, then resigned after Sinclair refused to address the disparity, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. The agency accused Sinclair of paying employees who are not Black more for similar work.
“It is Sinclair’s consistently applied policy and practice to meet and/or exceed its legal and ethical obligations as it pertains to the treatment of its employees,” a Sinclair spokesman said in an email Friday.
The company will show that its treatment of the plaintiff was consistent with that principle, the spokesman said.
The EEOC is seeking lost wages, compensatory and punitive damages and other relief as well as an injunction prohibiting Sinclair from discriminating against employees because of race in the future. The alleged conduct violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race.
“The EEOC is committed to eradicating discriminatory pay, including pay practices that disadvantage Black women,” said Debra Lawrence, regional attorney in the Philadelphia District Office, which has jurisdiction over Maryland and other states.