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Father Files EEOC Complaint against J.P. Morgan for Alleged Sexist Parental Leave Policy
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Summary: A J.P. Morgan employee says that the parental leave policy is discriminatory towards fathers. 

Modern fathers want to spend as much time with their children as mothers do, but some companies do not treat the two genders the same when it comes to parental leave. One such corporation is J.P. Morgan Chase, or at least that is what one man is accusing in a new federal sex discrimination complaint.


Derek Rotondo filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against his employer, J.P. Morgan Chase. According to The New York Times, he said the megabank discriminates against fathers by giving parental leave that is different from what they give mothers. This leave is based on the old-fashioned stereotype that women should care for children.

Rotondo said that J.P. Morgan gives new mothers 16 weeks of paid parental leave while fathers only get two weeks, unless they can prove that they are the primary caregivers. Rotondo said that this is sex discrimination that violates state and federal law.

Rotondo works as a fraud investigator in Columbus, Ohio. He is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the law firm Outten & Golden.

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Rotondo said that he was not eligible for 16 weeks of maternity leave because his wife is a teacher and not working until the fall. Therefore, he could not prove that his partner has returned to work or incapable of child care, as per the current J.P. Morgan policy. Despite his wife being at home, he said that he wanted to take care of his child and had no problem doing things like missing sleep and changing diapers.

J.P. Morgan said that they were investigating the complaint. The EEOC said it is deciding whether or not to launch a full-scale investigation and potentially file a lawsuit. The EEOC also has the option of giving Rotondo the authorization to sue his employer directly.

Attorney Galen Sherwin of the ACLU said that men and women often are not treated equally when it comes to paid leave. She said that these policies reinforce stereotypes that women are caregivers and men are breadwinners.

The complaint against J.P. Morgan is similar to one filed against Time Warner Inc. in 2014. The company offered 10 weeks of leave to mothers but only two weeks of leave to fathers.

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the United States is alone amongst wealthy countries that do not legally require employers to give paid parental leave. While some companies do not give that benefit, major law firms have updated their policies in order to attract and retain top talent.

For instance, Lowenstein Sandler allocates 24 weeks of paternity leave; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe gives 22 weeks; and Winston & Strawn provides 20 weeks. However, legal experts have said that although the benefit is offered, some male attorneys do not take it because law firm cultures tend to still lean conservative, and men are afraid that they will be looked down upon if they were to utilize the benefit.

Source: New York Times 

What do you think of Rotondo’s complaint? Let us know in the comments below.


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