Columbus dad sued employer JPMorgan Chase over parental leave pay – and won

ACLU
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JPMorgan Chase is setting aside $5 million to compensate male employees who were not given the same paid time off as their female counterparts upon becoming a parent.

The proposed settlement was filed Thursday in federal court in Ohio and announced by the American Civil Liberties Union. 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," the ACLU said in its statement.

The agreement calls for the bank to continue its current gender-neutral parental leave policy, and compensate male workers denied access to paid parental leave on the same terms as mothers from 2011 to 2017.

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Derek Rotondo is the Chase employee who filed the sex discrimination charge that led to the class-action settlement. "I'm proud that since I filed my charge, Chase has clarified its policy to ensure that both male and female employees who wish to be the primary parental caregiver have equal access to those benefits," Rotondo said in a statement.

A fraud investigator for Chase since 2010, Rotondo requested 14 weeks of "primary caregiver" leave after his son was born in June 2017. In his complaint, Rotondo alleged he was told mothers could take 16 weeks paid parental leave, while dads were entitled to just two weeks, unless the mom was incapacitated or back at work.

After Rotondo filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Chase gave him the full 16 weeks of caregiver leave, and in December 2017 clarified its policy to ensure equal access to men and women looking to be their new child's main caregiver.

JPMorgan Chase confirmed the settlement to CBS MoneyWatch.

"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," Reid Broda, associate general counsel at JPMorgan, stated. "We thank Mr. Rotondo for bringing the matter to our attention."