Estee Lauder Sued Over Parental Leave Policy
Estee Lauder is being sued by federal regulators for discriminating against men. Bloomberg reports the cosmetic company’s parental leave policy allows new fathers to take two weeks of paid leave for “child bonding,” while new mothers get six weeks, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
“It's wonderful when employers provide paid parental leave and flexible work arrangements, but federal law requires equal pay, including benefits, for equal work, and that applies to men as well as women,” Mindy Weinstein, acting director of the EEOC’s Washington Field Office, said in a statement. Women make up 84 percent of Estee Lauder's global workforce.
Total Retail's Take: The ruling on this case could have implications for a large percentage of companies that offer paid parental leave, where, on average, women are given more time off to care for newborns than men. In a study from the Society for Human Resource Management, new mothers receive on average of 41 paid days of maternity leave. Among workers in private industry, 87 percent didn’t have access to paid parental leave in 2016, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this case, and the dominos that may fall as a result.