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Lawsuit prompts changes to parental leave policy

When people in Charleston hear the words "class action lawsuit," they may quickly conjure up thoughts of hundreds of plaintiffs uniting to take on some giant corporate entity whose blatantly reckless (and often criminal) action has caused untold harm to countless victims. While this may accurately describe some class action cases, it should be remembered that all this is required for a class action lawsuit is that a group of individuals have a shared grievance against the same entity. That grievance need not always be injurious, either. In some cases, it may be something as simple as ensuring equal treatment. 

Such was the argument being made by several male employees against JPMorgan Chase. The men were claiming that they were denied equal paid parental leave. Under the company's former policy, those not designated as primary caregivers of children were entitled to two weeks of leave (as opposed the 16 weeks afforded to new mothers). The plaintiffs stated in their lawsuit that the policy unfairly discriminated against men. The case was settled when the company agreed to pay $5 million to the class. 

The motivations behind class action lawsuits need not always be strictly financial, either. In this case, on top of securing the settlement, the plaintiffs succeeded in prompting JPMorgan Chase to change its parental leave policy to offer non-primary caregivers up to six weeks of paid leave. 

This case demonstrates all that can be accomplished through a well-orchestrated class action. Assistance is often needed in order to achieve such cohesions. Those looking to initiate class actions may find such assistance in the form of an experienced attorney.  

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