Global cosmetics and makeup organisation Estee Lauder is subject to a lawsuit that alleges male employees are discriminated against under the organisation’s paid parental leave programme.The lawsuit, which has been brought by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), claims that Estee Lauder has broken federal law with the implementation and administration of its paid parental leave programme, by providing male employees who are new fathers with lesser benefits than female employees who are new mothers.The parental leave programme, which was introduced in 2013 to enable new parents time away from work to bond with their baby, allows eligible employees who are new mothers to take six-weeks of paid leave for child bonding. This is in addition to paid leave already in place to help biological mothers recover from childbirth. Furthermore, new mothers at Estee Lauder are also offered flexible return-to-work benefits after child bonding leave has finished. In comparison, male employees who are new fathers are provided with two weeks of paid leave to bond with their child, and the same flexible return-to-work benefits are not available.The case originally arose when a Maryland-based male employee requested and was refused six weeks of child bonding leave after the birth of his child, despite this being what new mothers at the organisation would automatically receive. The employee in question was instead permitted to take two weeks of paid leave to bond with his newborn. The EEOC’s Washington Field Office investigated the employee’s subsequent discrimination charge, and found that it violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Equal Pay Act of 1963. These acts prohibit discrimination in pay or benefits based on sex.The EEOC filed a lawsuit against Estee Lauder in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, after initially attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The lawsuit will seek back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive relief for affected male employees who were denied equal parental leave benefits because of their sex.Mindy Weinstein, acting director at the EEOC Washington Field Office, said: “It is 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.”Estee Lauder was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.
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Virat Kohli’s maturity as a captain came to the fore on Monday as he made light of Jimmy Anderson’s comments about his technique, urging the England veteran to “move on” but also made it clear that playing “sarcastic mind games” is not his cup of tea.He also said that Ravichandran Ashwin had told Anderson in no uncertain terms about the importance of “accepting defeat”.Anderson in his post-match press conference yesterday had made an uncharitable comment that Kohli’s technical deficiencies was not on display because the pitches in India lack pace and bounce. (Also read: Virat Kohli turns peacemaker to douse Ashwin-Anderson fire)This was after the Indian captain had decimated the England attack scoring 640 runs in four Tests.”I am no one or in no position to question someone else’s technique or faults. They should understand it themselves and work on it. As international cricketers, it is their responsibility. So I am not going to sit here and play sarcastic mind games. I want to focus on good cricket and that is exactly what we have done.”Kohli said India have always been graceful in defeat. (Also read: Virat Kohli takes a dig at England batsmen after James Anderson’s controversial remark)”We focus on our strengths, we accept defeat pretty gracefully. We have never complained, we always find faults in our game and try to improve that. That is exactly what we keep doing in every game that we play.”When Anderson came out to bat, Ashwin was seen talking to him and it was Kohli and the umpires who intervened.advertisementAsked about the incident, Kohli tried to douse the fire. (Also read: Mumbai Test: Virat Kohli 235, R Ashwin 12/167 give India historic series win over England)”It was the first time I was trying to calm things down at a time when Anderson involved. Ashwin was not pleased with whatever he had said in the press (yesterday). Ashwin told me on the ground, I had no clue about it. I was laughing about it, but Ashwin was not too impressed,” Kohli told media persons.”Ashwin let him know, not using bad words at all, I think he said he was pretty disappointed in what he said and it’s important to accept defeat and things like that. You know how Ashwin is, to the point he can really strike you well without using bad words. That’s exactly what happened. Later on, I told James these things happen and it’s time to move on,” Kohli showed that he is ready to put an end to the controversy.However, England captain Alastair Cook said the entire episode has been blown out of proportion.”It was a bit of a sour end really. A disappointing end in terms of how well the spirit between both sides has been. It was clearly reference to what Jimmy said yesterday which has kind of been blown out of all proportions which it can happen here,” said Cook.”Anderson was just stating a fact which if you asked Virat is probably quite true. But yes, it was obviously just ticking up for their captain, which I thought was slightly unnecessary,” he added.