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New dad fights for paternity leave equity

Fathers-to-be in New York City may be interested in a recent case concerning a new dad who is fighting for paternity equity. Josh Levs, who works for CNN as a journalist, claims that his company's parental leave policy is discriminatory against new fathers, and he has filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case against his employer, which is a subsidiary of Time Warner. He has taken a public stance against the matter and has written several blogs concerning the subject.

Time Warner's current parental leave policy states that new biological fathers receive only two weeks paid paternity leave, while new mothers and adoptive parents receive ten weeks. Two months before his child was born, Levs requested the same amount of leave that new mothers receive under his company's policy. However, Time Warner continued to put him off until they sent him a denial 11 days after the birth of his daughter.

However, Time Warner offers a parental leave policy that is more generous as compared to most companies. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management states that only 15 percent of employers in the United States offer paid paternity leave. In addition, the United States lags behind other developed countries as far as any kind of parental leave is concerned. Attorneys for Levs argued that the company's disparity in parental leave for biological fathers was gender-based and violated the law.

While many people believe that Levs is justified in filing a case, others may question whether Time Warner's policy constitutes unfair practice as opposed to illegal discrimination. If a judge decides that biological fathers are a protected class under the law, then Levs could possibly win his case.

Source: Huffington Post, "Taking a Stand for Paternity Leave Equity", Scott Behson, November 17, 2013

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