The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court alleging that a Pikesville private school violated federal law when it didn’t renew a male softball coach’s contract.

The agency announced Monday that it is suing the Park School of Baltimore for sex discrimination, alleging the school did not renew the coach’s contract “because of its preference for female leadership.”


Richard Schneider was hired as the Park School’s head softball coach in spring 2014, according to the lawsuit, and his contract was renewed in both 2015 and 2016 after his performance was deemed “satisfactory.”

Personal finance website WalletHub ranked Maryland as the eighth-best public school system in the U.S. in an analysis released on Monday. The analysis found that the state is the 10th best in quality among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and the 20th safest school system.

The lawsuit alleges that the school told Schneider in January 2017 that it preferred female leadership and “did not renew Schneider’s contract for the 2017 softball season because he is male.”

The EEOC says the school’s conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

An agency spokeswoman said Schneider was not available to comment. Officials with the Park School of Baltimore did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The EEOC is requesting a jury trial and seeks “punitive damages for callous indifference to [Schneider’s] federally protected right to be free from discrimination based on gender.”

The agency tried to reach a settlement before filing the suit, according to a news release.

Teachers across Maryland targeted in email campaign urging them to leave unions.

“Title VII protects both men and women from discrimination based on sex,” EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence said in a statement. “The law is clear — employers should make employment decisions based on the employee’s qualifications, not gender.”