The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Thursday it has sued Extended Stay Hotels for paying women less than men performing the same work at the company's facility in Lexington Park.
According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Latoya Weaver was hired as a guest services representative at the Extended Stay America hotel in St. Mary's County at $8 an hour. When she resigned nearly five years later, she was earning $8.88 an hour.
Weaver offered to rescind her resignation if she could get a raise, but the general manager told her that wasn't possible because the hotel was being renovated, according to the EEOC. But around the same time, two men were hired as guest services representatives and paid $10 an hour, the lawsuit states.
The EEOC said that during its investigation, it uncovered information indicating that other female guest services employees at the hotel also suffered pay discrimination.
Among other things, the federal agency asked the court to require the hotel to stop wage discrimination and to pay Weaver and other female employees for lost compensation.
"Although we have made great strides in narrowing the wage gap between men and women, this case demonstrates that pay discrimination remains a serious problem in the workplace," Spencer H. Lewis Jr., director of the EEOC's Philadelphia district office, said in a news release.
Extended Stay Hotels, operated by North Carolina-based HVM LLC, has 685 hotels, according to its website.
The phone operator at the Lexington Park hotel said the general manager mentioned in the lawsuit no longer works there, and the current manager declined to comment. The company and its lawyer did not respond to calls for comment Thursday afternoon.