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Women have fought for years to get longer and guaranteed paid maternity leave, so that having kids would no longer mean the end of a career. Suing for wrongful termination and discrimination has been one of women's most effective tools.
And one that has inspired new fathers to get in on the action.
The New York Times reports today on an increase in the number of lawsuits new dads are bringing against their employers. In the last five years, Noam Scheiber writes, men have begun to feel entitled to paid leave from their jobs as they welcome new babies in their families. Most recently, Josh Levs settled with his employer, CNN and Turner Broadcasting, where company policy provide women who give birth, and men and women who adopt a child, six weeks caregiving leave. Biological fathers received two weeks paid leave.
Another father-to-be settled with his law firm, whom he complained retaliated against him for taking time off to care for his pregnant wife, who was suicidal. An air traffic controller settled with the Transportation Department, which granted women but not men leave to care for children.
The Times cites a Pew Research Analysis that found an increasing number of fathers are working less in order to spend more time with their families. And they're demanding job protection that allows them to do so.
Men say that their loyalty and commitment are often questioned if they avail themselves of family leave, something women have had to fight against for decades. But that's not stopping them. Millennials are more likely than their predecessors to prioritize family over work, the studies show, and they're willing to go to court over it.