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Biological Fathers Entitled To Better Parental Leave Policy Benefits

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. (ELC) reached a settlement with respect to a male employee’s claim that following the birth of his child, he was provided inferior benefits to biological mothers under the parental leave policies that had been adopted in July 2013.

ELC’s policies included four types of paid parental leave benefits as well as a transition back-to-work benefit for biological mothers. However, when Christopher Sullivan notified ELC of his intent to take primary caregiver leave, he was advised that as a biological father, he could only apply for secondary caregiver leave. The EEOC asserted that the policies, which were for the stated purpose of parental bonding with a newborn, discriminated on the basis of sex.

Without admitting any wrongdoing, ELC voluntarily agreed to the terms of a consent decree which included injunctive relief against discrimination and retaliation, revised parental leave policies, training, and payment to the class of aggrieved employees of $1.1 million.

Lexis Advance® subscribers can access Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. at:  2018 Jury Verdicts LEXIS 18237

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Author:  Sheri Steinmetz, Lexis-Nexis Case Law Editor

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