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Parental Leave – Don’t Make This $5 Million Dollar Mistake!

July 18, 2019

Key Takeaway:

  • Employers should ensure that their parental leave policies provide gender-neutral benefits and are applied in a non-discriminatory manner

Recently, JPMorgan Chase reached a proposed settlement agreement in which they would pay a historic 5 million dollars to settle a class action lawsuit alleging their paid parental leave policy discriminated against men.

In anticipation of his second child’s birth, a male employee requested for 16 weeks of paid parental leave pursuant to JP Morgan’s policy designated for “primary” caregivers.  His request was denied. The employee claimed that he was told male employees could only qualify as a primary caregiver if their partner had returned to work or the mother was medically incapable of caring for the child. He brought a class action lawsuit, on behalf of himself and other men who had been subject to the parental leave policy, alleging gender discrimination under Title VII.

This case should alert all employers to the danger of seemingly gender-neutral policies that are actually applied in a discriminatory manner.


Meredith “Merry” Campbell

Gregory D. Grant

Joy C. Einstein


The contents of this Alert are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact the Shulman Rogers attorney with whom you regularly work or a member of the Shulman Rogers Employment and Labor Law Group.