Derek Rotondo, a J.P. Morgan employee and father of two young children, filed a complaint against the company on Wednesday alleging that its leave policy is biased against fathers. After an employee's child is born, J.P. Morgan allows primary caregivers to take 16 weeks of paid parental leave, while non-primary caregivers can only take two weeks. Rotondo, a fraud investigator who lives in Ohio, says that after the birth of his second child, J.P. Morgan's human resources department said he could only take leave as a primary caregiver if he could prove his spouse or partner was back at work or was "medically incapable" of caring for the baby. Since Rotondo's wife is a teacher and was off for the summer, his request was denied, so he was only able to take off two weeks of paid leave.
“When I found out how J.P. Morgan’s parental leave policy was actually implemented, I was shocked,” Rotondo said in a statement. “It was like something out of the 1950s. Just because I’m a father, not a mother, it shouldn’t prevent me from being the primary caregiver for my baby. I hope that J.P. Morgan will change this policy and show its support for all parents who work for the company.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Ohio, and the employment law firm Outten & Golden LLP filed the discrimination complaint against J.P. Morgan on Rotondo's behalf with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
When contacted by Fortune, a spokesperson for J.P. Morgan said the company is reviewing the complaint.
To Rotondo, the difference in policies for primary and non-primary caregivers means J.P. Morgan only considers mothers as primary caregivers—a move he says is sex-based discrimination. Rotondo also alleges that the company's parental leave policy violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Ohio Fair Employment Practices Act: Both laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees based on sex.
“J.P. Morgan’s parental leave policy is outdated and discriminates against both moms and dads by reinforcing the stereotype that raising children is women’s work, and that men’s work is to be the breadwinner,” Galen Sherwin, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project, said in a statement.
Rotondo’s sex discrimination complaint seeks equal paid parental leave for mothers and fathers at J.P. Morgan. The complaint also seeks compensation for Rotondo and other fathers who have "lost out on paid leave" due to J.P. Morgan's policy, according to the ACLU.