Chase settlement will pay fathers for ungranted paternity leave

New York City, N.Y., May 31, 2019 / 12:00 am (CNA).- A class action lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase was settled this week, after a lawsuit from fathers denied parental leave.

As of Thursday, Chase Bank has agreed to pay $5 million to hundreds of fathers who were denied primary caregiver leave at the company within the last seven years, NPR reported.

When his son was born two years ago, Derek Rotond, who investigated financial crimes for Chase, applied for 16 weeks of paid parental leave, the amount granted by the company to primary caregivers.
He was denied, and says he was told that "men, as biological fathers, were presumptively not the primary caregiver,” according to NPR.

Rotondo filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Chase responded quickly, saying that the company would grant Rotondo, the extra leave he wanted.

According to NPR, the bank has updated its policy to reflect a more gender neutral language, but Rotondo’s case led to a class-action lawsuit from other men who said they had denied the leave granted to primary caregivers.

"We thank Mr. Rotondo for bringing the matter to our attention," said Reid Broda, associate general counsel for Chase.

Peter Romer-Friedman, Rotondo’s attorney, said "the Supreme Court has made very clear that parental leave for caregiving has to be given on the exact same equal terms,” NPR reported.
According to a 2017 report from the Pew Research Center, more than 80 percent of adults in the United States support paid maternity leave and just under 70 percent believed in paid paternity leave.

To support a healthy family life for Church employees, the Archdiocese of Chicago in 2016 increased its parental leave to 12 weeks. The policy covers mothers and fathers who work at least 26 hours a week.

The policy brought the archdiocese to the forefront of family-friendly policies across the nation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, only 14% of U.S. workers had any amount of paid parental leave through their employers in 2016.

Father Peter Wojcik, co-director of parish life and formation for the archdiocese, said in 2016 that paid leave emphasizes the Church’s dedication to family life.

“I think it’s a practical way of saying yes, the families are at the center of the church, the church is built on the families and families need time to be with each other and accompany each other,” he said.

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