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Estee Lauder Settles With Dads Who Claim Bias

In 2017, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against Estee Lauder on behalf of over 200 dads who claimed that they did not receive the same benefits accorded new moms. Specifically, it was alleged that under the company’s policy “primary caregivers” were given six weeks of paid leave following the birth of a child while “secondary caregivers” were given just two weeks. In reality, “primary caregivers” were mothers and they were given significantly more time to bond with their children. Thus, the EEOC alleged that the policy was discriminatory.
Estee Lauder denied that its policy was discriminatory and denied any liability. However, the parties agreed to settle the case. Estee Lauder has changed its paid parental leave policy as of May 1. All new parents, regardless of gender, will now be able to take up to 20 weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child, and up to six weeks of flexible work time after returning to work to ease their transition back into the workforce. This leave is separate and distinct from leave needed by mothers for pregnancy-related medical conditions, childbirth, or childbirth-related medical conditions. Additionally, the company will pay $1.1 million to the 210 or so dads that joined the suit.