Fighting For Paid Leave For Dads

This dad won $5 million for 5,000 fathers who were denied full paid paternity leave — and he wants to see companies treat dads like equal parents. 👨‍👧‍👦

Paternity Leave Payday

This dad won $5 million for 5,000 fathers who were denied full paid paternity leave. And he doesn’t want the conversation to stop with him. After the birth of his second child, Derek Rotondo requested paid parental leave from his company JP Morgan as a primary caregiver. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, the ACLU Women's Rights Project pushes for change and systemic reform in institutions that perpetuate discrimination against women, focusing its work in the areas of employment, violence against women, and education. When he was offered only 2 weeks, instead of the 16 weeks the company had been offering, he joined with the Women’s Rights Project to file a class action lawsuit.

In the United States, there is no federally mandated paternity leave. Only 5 states mandate paid parental leave of any kind according to Fatherly. By contrast, in Spain, both parents are guaranteed a full 16 weeks of paid leave according to Euroactiv. Rotondo’s settlement with JP Morgan ensured he received the full 16 weeks of paid paternity leave. NPR notes that JPMorgan had stated it would work with Rotando to give him the full leave under its policies, but the complaint — for which the American Civil Liberties Union helped represent the father — led to a tentative class-action settlement with the big bank.

Many new parents working in the U.S. don’t have access to paid parental leave — and the federal government only protects certain workers for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave after they welcome a new child, under the Family and Medical Leave Act. While there is a lack of sufficient policies to require fair and equitable leave for all new parents across the country, some employers offer leave policies of their own. And one major bank — JPMorgan Chase — is about to make theirs fairer, thanks to a lawsuit filed by a new dad.

He hopes this legal victory spurs a change in how Americans view traditional family dynamics.