Employer’s “Primary Caregiver” Leave Policy Is Title VII Violation, Dad Argues in EEOC Complaint

JP Morgan Chase’s parental leave policy violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights because it disadvantages new fathers, according to a complaint filed last week with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The policy in question offers more generous leave for the parent designated as the “primary caregiver.” This is presumed to be the mother, unless the father can show that the mother has returned to work or is medically unable to care for the baby.

Chase’s policy gives up to 16 weeks of paid parental leave to the primary caregiver, but only 2 weeks to the secondary caregiver.

Derek Rotondo, an employee of Chase, wanted the longer leave following the birth of his second child. But he couldn’t convince Chase that the primary caregiver, his wife, either was back at work or incapable of caring for the newborn.

As a teacher, she has the summer off, so clearly wasn’t back at work. Nor was she incapable of caring for the baby.

Rotondo’s complaint argues that under U.S. Supreme Court and EEOC rulings, employers must make caregiving leave available on equal terms to men and women.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the employment law firm Outten & Golden filed the complaint on Rotondo’s behalf.

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