JPMorgan Chase to pay $5 million as settlement in parental leave discrimination case

This is recorded as the highest ever settlement amount in a case related to parental leave bias.


JPMorgan Chase, the investment banking company, will have to pay $5 million to settle as case on parental leave discrimination. Many employees at JPMorgan Chase had alleged that they were denied additional parental leaves to spend time with their new born kid as primary caregivers.

The beneficiary of this $5 million settlement amount will be working fathers at the company, who felt that they faced the same kind of discrimination through the parental leave policy.

The case dates back to May 2017 when an employee Derek Rotondo applied for a 16-week paid parental leave. A few months before Rotondo had applied for leaves, JPMorgan Chase had revised its paid paternity leave and increased it from 12 weeks to 16 weeks.

However, the HR official at JP Morgan Chase denied 16-week parental leave to Rotondo citing the reason that women were presumed to be children’s primary caregiver and in case he wants to qualify for the full 16-week paid parental leave, he would have had to submit a document stating that his wife was ‘medically incapable’ of taking care of the new born.

Eventually, Rotondo was given only two weeks of parental paid leave, following which Rotondo filed a case in U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Soon after Rotondo filed a case in EEOC, the company granted him a full 16 week paid paternity leave. In December 2017, Chase changed its policy that both men and women will be considered as primary caregiver.

Though Rontondo had got what he wanted, he did not stop there. He wanted to ensure that no father should face any discrimination like he did. He took this up as a larger cause and filed a case with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Last year in 2018, Estee Lauder, beauty products company, had to pay $1 million to settle a similar lawsuit, while in 2015, Time Warner also had to pay a settlement amount to a CNN journalist for not abiding by gender neutral leave policies. However, the payout of $5 million is considered to be the highest ever amount paid in a parental-leave bias case.

Hopefully, this case will be an eye opener for other organisation and inspire them to have gender neutral parental leave policies.

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