JPMorgan Chase is paying $5 million to settle a class-action case alleging the corporation denied male workers the same chance as female workers to stay home with their newborn child.
The proposed settlement is the largest-ever sum for a parental-leave discrimination case, according to one attorney for the suing father — and the case could make other companies think hard about how they carry out their own family leave policies.
To qualify for 16 weeks of paid parental leave, a male employee alleged he was asked by HR to submit documentation that his wife was ‘medically incapable’ of providing any care for their infant.
“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, JPMorgan Chase & Co. associate general counsel, said in a statement.
The $5 million will go to male employees working at the company who felt they were discouraged or denied their chance to take advantage of the paid leave they deserved as primary care givers. The proposed settlement was filed Thursday in Ohio federal court and still needs a judge’s approval.
JPMorgan Chase JPM, -1.07% is not admitting liability in the matter.
The case dates back to May 2017, when Chase employee Derek Rotondo readied for the birth of his second child, Lincoln. Rotondo asked human resources for 16 weeks of paid parental leave as a primary care giver. The company had expanded its paid parental leave policy from 12 weeks to 16 weeks for primary care givers months earlier.
But a human-resources representative told Rotondo that women were presumed to be children’s primary care givers, and he could only qualify for the full 16-week paid leave under certain