JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) has agreed to settle a discrimination case related to its parental leave policy for fathers. The class-action case was prompted by a male employee of the company who claimed a denial of the opportunity to take additional paid parental leave as a primary caregiver. The lawsuit alleged that Chase’s parental leave policy violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Ohio Fair Employment Practices Act, and other state and local laws prohibiting sex discrimination in the workplace.
As part of the proposed class settlement, Chase agreed to pay $5 million to male employees who allege they were denied access to the same paid parental leave as mothers from 2011 to 2017. The $5 million will be split among them, though it’s not clear how many people will receive a payment. Reid Broda, JPMorgan Chase’s associate general counsel, said in a statement, “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.”
Derek Rotondo, an investigator on the bank’s security and audit team, filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2017 alleging that the company’s paid-leave policy discriminated against men. Rotondo claimed that he was denied the 16 weeks of paid parental leave given to biological mothers as primary caregivers after the birth of his two children.
According to the company policy at the time, Rotondo would only be considered the primary caregiver if he could prove that his spouse was incapacitated or already returned to work. He did not qualify because his wife, a teacher, had the summer off work. The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Rotondo in the case, said the resolution is the “first class-action lawsuit to settle discrimination claims for a class of fathers who claim they were denied the opportunity to receive equal paid parent leave given to mothers.”