Derel Rotondo, who filed a complaint charging that his employer JPMorgan Chase discriminates against fathers with its parental leave policy. Rotondo said the policy was affirmed by a representative from human resources, who wrote to him that the company automatically considers mothers to be the primary caretakers.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Ohio and employment law firm Outten & Golden LLP filed a sex-discrimation charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Thursday morning on behalf of Derek Rotondo, a fraud investigator for the bank based in Columbus, Ohio.
When Rotondo, 32, put in for leave in May, JPMorgan informed him by phone and in writing that it starts from the presumption that the primary caregiver is a child's birth mother, according to the complaint.
Summary: A J.P. Morgan employee says that the parental leave policy is discriminatory towards fathers.
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While some employers offer paid leave to new parents, there is a "widespread failure" to treat men and women equally, ACLU attorney Galen Sherwin said. He would only earn that status as a dad and received the benefit, however, if he could prove his wife had gone back to work or was medically unable to care for the baby.
"When I found out how J.P. Morgan's parental leave policy was actually implemented, I was shocked", Rotondo said in a statement.
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. They cite recent guidance from the EEOC that distinguishes between post-partum medical leave and parental leave to bond with and care for a new child.
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.
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Sherwin told FOX Business that no other fathers from the company have come forward to join the complaint, but did say in a statement that their policy "is outdated and discriminates against both moms and dads by reinforcing the stereotype that raising children is women's work, and that men's work is to be the breadwinner". "Many large and small companies are out of compliance with the law".
But part of the problem is that many employees are unaware of the law or are scared to file complaint, she said. "It's longstanding and established on this issue", he said. Rotondo also alleges that the company's parental leave policy violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Ohio Fair Employment Practices Act: Both laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees based on sex. "We're just coming into an era where fathers are demanding significant parental leave". And research has shown that younger men have more egalitarian views about caregiving roles, but struggle to make it work with the policies many companies continue to have.
"There's a definite generational trend for fathers to be more involved in the care of their children", she says, noting there's "a gap between the reality of the way [people] are trying to parent more equitably and what the policies are".
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