In the past, nearly all caregiver lawsuits against employers in Pennsylvania and around the country were filed by women fighting for maternity leave. Women still make up the majority of these cases, but the number of men who have joined the fight has almost quadrupled. More and more of them are fighting for their right to keep their jobs and take time off for their families.
Men are now the plaintiffs in more than 25 percent of child care lawsuits. This change is spurred by more men taking a more proactive role in their children’s lives. These lawsuits are typically filed in response to the difference in length between maternity and paternity leave, the discouragement that rains down from upper management when men try to take paternity leave, or the retaliation men face when they reenter the workforce after taking their leave. Men are also filing more elder care and spousal care lawsuits as well.
Men are entitled to FMLA leave to take care of their families, but the discrimination many face deters them from taking it. Some men are denied promotions and raises, while others are fired from positions they’ve held for decades. Many employers try to cover up their reasoning, but some simply inform their employees that certain jobs are designed for single men without children.
The Family and Medical Leave Act protects both men and women of covered employers. It is illegal to retaliate against an employee for exercising legitimate FMLA rights, and this includes denial of a pay raise or promotion in addition to termination. People who feel that their rights in this regard have been infringed upon may want to meet with an employment law attorney in order to determine what recourse might be available.