DADS ARE PEOPLE TOO « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


EEOC Settles Male Gender Discrimination Case For $1.1 Million

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced the $1.1 million resolution of its class action lawsuit against world-leading cosmetic company Estée Lauder.

The government alleged Estée Lauder discriminated against a class of 210 new fathers under its paid parental leave policy. Although no federal or state law requires an employer to pay for such leave, Estée Lauder provided paid parental leave as an employee benefit. That policy, however, did not provide fathers with any return to work benefits and only provided them with two weeks of paid leave as compared to the six weeks that new mothers received. The parental leave at issue was separate from childbirth-related medical leave.

In the consent decree, Estée Lauder also agreed to revise and implement a new parental leave policy providing covered employees, regardless of gender or caregiver status, up to 20 weeks of paid leave and six weeks of flexible work schedule upon returning to work. The company must also train human resources and management personnel on federal anti-bias laws and on the details of its revised parental leave policy.

EEOC acting director Mindy E. Weinstein commented, “This settlement ensures that Estée Lauder will provide equal opportunities for time off to new dads and new moms, which is what the law requires, and what makes sense for families.” Philadelphia District Office attorney Thomas Rethage added, “Parental leave policies should not reflect presumptions or stereotypes about gender roles.”

This case is an expensive example of why employers should take all appropriate measures to ensure equal leave benefits to all employees, and implement and follow procedures to promptly investigate and resolve employee complaints of discrimination of any kind, in consultation with experienced legal counsel as needed.

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For further assistance, please contact one of our attorneys Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Cindy Bamforth

September 13, 2018