Women's Rights on the Docket

Rotondo v. J.P. Morgan Chase

This case falls into the legal category of:

Case Dates:
Thursday, 15 June, 2017 - ongoing

In anticipation of the birth of his second child, Derek Rotondo, an employee of J.P. Morgan Chase (“JPMC”), queried the human resources department about the company’s parental leave policy. JPMC informed him that, absent special circumstances, as the child’s father, Mr. Rotondo would only be entitled to two weeks of paid leave. On the other hand, had he been the child’s mother, he would automatically be allowed sixteen weeks of paid leave.

The advice given to Mr. Rotondo is consistent with JPMC’s written parental leave policy, which by its terms presumes that the birth mothers will be the baby’s primary caregiver, and permits a male employee the full sixteen weeks of paid leave in only special circumstances.

Legal Theory:

JPMC’s parental leave policy constitutes sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by designating female parents as default primary caregivers.


On June 15, 2017, we filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on behalf of Derek Rotondo and a class consisting of all other men who have been or are being discriminated against by JPMC’s parental leave policy. As a Title VII claim, this complaint must be initiated with the EEOC before filing in federal court (in technical terms, this requirement is called “exhaustion of administrative remedies”). JPMC responded to the charge with its position statement on October 11, 2017; and we filed our rebuttal position statement on December 21, 2017. Settlement discussions are ongoing. To assist with reaching agreement with regard to some details of the settlement, the parties engaged in a mediation session on April 16, 2018. The mediation brought the parties closer to resolution, and has been followed up by more negotiations which have closed most of the remaining gaps in their positions.

We executed a settlement agreement with Chase and on May 30, 2019 filed a Class Action Complaint and Motions for Class Certification and Approval of the Settlement in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division. The case was transferred to the Southern District’s Eastern Division.