In 2018, Estee Lauder paid out a staggering $1.1 million settlement in response to allegations that it had unfairly discriminated against new fathers through its parental leave policy. In the lawsuit, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission asserted that the cosmetics giant provided male workers who had just become new fathers with lesser parental leave benefits than female employees who had just become new mothers.
The costly settlement underscores the importance of ensuring that parental leave and return-to-work policies are based on sex-neutral criteria to minimize the risk of sex discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Right now, parental leave is being granted by more employers than ever before. In 2015, just 25 percent of workplaces had policies in place granting time off for new parents. Yet, in 2018, about 40 percent of workplaces were offering parental leave, according to Mercer’s 2018 Survey on Absence and Disability Management. With more employers aiming to align employees’ needs with their paid time off policies, now is the time to learn the compliance pitfalls to avoid when drafting and enforcing parental and pregnancy leave policies.
Join us on March 18, when Attorney Miranda Watkins of Fisher Phillips LLP will walk you through the many—some potentially surprising—ways sex discrimination claims may arise as a result of your leave, pay, or other policies.
- Do’s and don’ts for drafting parental leave policies—paid or unpaid—for baby bonding and other family-based commitments
- How to make sure your paid or unpaid parental leave policies, while generous, are also equitable and don’t spark EEOC scrutiny
- How to spot “red flags” concerning benefits related to parental leave
- Examples of paid or unpaid parental leave, pay, and benefits policies that comply with EEOC guidance and how they avoid discrimination claims on the basis of sex
- And much more!
YOUR EXPERT INSTRUCTOR
Miranda Watkins, Esq.
Miranda Watkins is an associate in the Fisher Phillips San Diego office. Her practice includes counseling and defending employers in all areas of labor and employment law. Before joining Fisher Phillips, Ms. Watkins worked as an associate attorney for a national law firm, focusing on employment and general civil litigation matters.
During law school, she served as a law clerk for an administrative law judge at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). There, her work focused solely on federal employment discrimination matters.
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