JPMorgan Chase on Thursday agreed to pay $5 million to settle a discrimination case related to its parental leave policy for fathers.
The class-action case was prompted by a man at the company who said he was denied the opportunity to take additional paid parental leave as a primary caregiver.
“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,” said Reid Broda, JPMorgan Chase’s associate general counsel, in a statement to CNN Business.
The charge was originally filed in 2017 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by Derek Rotondo, an investigator on the bank’s security and audit team. Rotondo alleged that he was not given the same amount of parental leave after the birth of his two children as employees who were mothers would have received.
Rotondo claimed that the bank presumptively considered biological mothers as primary caregivers, and gave them 16 weeks of paid parental leave. But as a father, he would only be considered as such if he could prove that his spouse was incapacitated or already returned to work.
According to his claim, Rotondo was denied a request for extended leave because he could not show either of those exceptions.
After Rotondo filed his claim, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) agreed to give him 16 weeks of caregiver leave. While the bank said it already had a gender-neutral parental leave policy, it clarified that policy in December 2017 to ensure equal access to all parents seeking to serve as a primary caregiver, regardless of gender.
“I love my children, and all I wanted was to spend time with them when they were born,” Rotondo said in a statement released Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union and the workers’ rights law firm Outten & Golden LLP, which worked on the case.
“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 added.
The $5 million will be split among other fathers, though it’s not clear how many people will receive a payment.