Father Sues Employer Over Paternity Leave and Wins

I admire this guy. I really do. As I plan for my maternity leave, it is hard to decide what to do. I have read a lot of articles over the last few months about maternity and paternity leave, and I am still aghast that we have such shitty laws in the US, and that larger (and smaller) companies are so slowly coming around to supporting their pregnant workforce (and father’s as well). It feels like a slap in the face.

Regardless of what the laws are for the US, I have found it to be quite frustrating to navigate the entire process. Somehow no one tells you the steps to take, you have to navigate on your own, and talk to other women who recently delivered babies to see how it worked (or didn’t) for them. Did they deliver early? Did they go on reduced hours before delivery? Did that start short-term disability? What are your rights and are those at your workplace an advocate for you, or do they only answer your questions, and not attempt to help you understand the complexity of the situation. Things like: if you do not take the right steps, you can basically eat up all your vacation days before you deliver, and then have to take unpaid leave after your short-term disability is done. Crazy that they make it so complicated for women. Is it just about money?

So this guy works for CNN and sued them based on their parental leave policy. He won both for paternity and maternity leave AND he kept his job. Somehow I feel like it might be an anomaly — that most individuals that would sue their company would end up out of a job. He took a risk and he won. Think of all the other individuals at his company that will benefit because he spoke out. We all need more that will speak out. Husband’s for their wives, wives for their husbands, and those that might be in same-sex marriages or partnerships. Parents deserve to be home with their new babies to bond, and get the hang of how to take care of a little one.

What do you think?

One thought on “Father Sues Employer Over Paternity Leave and Wins

  1. Benefits are very company specific and you do get what you pay for. I don’t see it as a slap in the face but something the employee should look at based on where they are in life. Companies are here to make a profit – that has been the case since the dawn of specialization – nothing will change that. And you must always remember that what you initially get may not always stay OR may be expanded AFTER you use the benefit (my company just added paternity and expanded maternity, years after i needed it).

    to simply answer your question – yes it comes down to money – whether in wages paid to someone not working (likely causing more wages to a temporary working) or costs associated with medical benefits. And you then couple that with government (fed and/or state) insurance like disability (you can’t blame the company looking to make a claim when you use short/long term disability to help offset some of the cost spent to employ a temp working), you have 3 and sometimes 4 parties (you, company, government, reinsurance like AFLAC) involved. It can become a paperwork and logistical nightmare on all sides.

    Now here’s when i say we are all adults. if you don’t like your company’s policies, look for a company that better matches what you are looking for. Only when company’s see talent leaving due to trends like benefits will they then start modifying them to attract talent back. A freemarket company is good like that – look, Walmart carries organics – why, they saw customers leaving because they did not have them. And offshoring is now onshoring due to the fact that arbitrage can only be exploited for a period of time and MUST eventually zero out due to the inflation it causes in the local market. If talent is important to a company, they will change their policy (as i stated, my company is trying to become more competitive in benefits like maternity / paternity leave but medical is status quo).

    now this guy at CNN – they cannot fire him due to the laws that protect him for situations just like this (unsure if it is whistle-blowing) but my recommendation to him is to start looking for a job. people don’t forget being sued and very few leaders will give him opportunities to move up (if he fails, will i get sued? if he is unhappy, will i get sued? if he does not like me, will he sue me?). if he wants to stay in the same job forever, then that’s good because that is likely what they will do at no risk to themselves.


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