Gender discrimination works both ways
November 16, 2015
Article courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE
CNN and Turner Broadcasting settled an EEOC charge with a former CNN correspondent, Josh Levs, who claimed that the company’s paid parental leave discriminated against biological fathers. According to Mr. Levs, CNN’s parental leave policy provided biological fathers only two weeks of paid parental leave and allowed ten weeks of paid leave for biological mothers, as well as to all parents (regardless of sex) who adopted.
In October 2013, Mr. Levs filed a charge of discrimination alleging that CNN’s policy violated Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act. The settlement between the parties was not disclosed, but Time Warner voluntarily changed their parental leave policy to allow all parents—biological mothers, biological fathers, and adoptive parents—to receive six weeks of paid leave following childbirth or adoption. In addition, the new policy allows biological mothers to receive an additional six weeks of leave with the possibility of more leave if they have an unforeseen medical need. According to the EEOC’s guidance, companies may offer longer leaves to biological mothers than to fathers, but only if the difference in length of leave is justified by a medical necessity.