US case is settled just days after a British court ruled it’s OK to have different polices for mums and dads
An American dad has won a $5 million pay out after accusing his employer of discriminating against fathers.
Derek Rotondo claimed that it was unfair for financial giant JP Morgan to give mums 16 weeks of paid parental leave but only a fortnight to dads.
The bank agreed to pay $5 million to settle the dispute.
The case comes just a few weeks after a British court ruled it’s not discriminatory to enhance maternity pay and maternity pay while offering less to new fathers.
In the USA there statutory maternity or paternity leave is unpaid and extremely limited. As a result around one in four new mothers returns to work just 10 days after giving birth. However courts there differentiate between time off to recover from birth and time for bonding and childcare. The UK ruling was seen by some as broadly defining the whole year of maternity leave as a medical issue.
“Parents need to be treated with equality,” said Rotondo, who investigates financial crimes for the bank. “There can’t be an assumption that just because someone is a new mom, she’s going to be doing all the work, and that dads just need to be quiet and get back in the office.”
The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union. In a statement Rotondo added, “I love my children, and all I wanted was to spend time with them when they were born.”
As part of the settlement JP Morgan has pledged to provide more training around equality and parental policies. The bank’s lawyers said, “We are pleased to have reached an agreement in this matter and look forward to more effectively communicating the policy so that all men and women employees are aware of their benefits. We thank Mr Rotondo for bringing the matter to our attention.”
Rotondo says he won’t trouser the full $5 million. Instead he’ll share it with other fathers who’ve previously missed out on equal leave.