EEOC Goes to Bat for Estee Lauder Dads

PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Accusing Estee Lauder of discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the cosmetics giant affords working fathers just a fraction of the leave time it gives new moms.

According to corporate policy last updated in 2013, Lauder provides biological mothers, adopters and primary caregivers six weeks of paid leave, as well as a comprehensive back-to-work benefit that provides a four-week flexibility period.

Bringing a suit Wednesday in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the EEOC says Lauder considers biological fathers “secondary caregivers,” a class whose parental-leave benefits are far inferior.

In addition to getting just two weeks to be used in the first six month’s of the child’s arrival, Lauder offers these men no transition back-to-work benefit.

The EEOC brought its complaint in response to a charge filed two years ago  by Christopher Sullivan, an employee who was told he could not get primary-caregiver unless it was a surrogacy situation.

The EEOC alleges discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Equal Pay Act discrimination.

EEOC senior trial attorney Thomas Rethage Jr. filed the suit, and did not return a call requesting comment by press time.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge John Padova.

A spokeswoman for Estee Lauder said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

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