U.S. Department of Justice

Feds, Tampa Settle Parental Leave Dispute

U.S. Department of Justice
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TAMPA, Fla. – The U.S. Department of Justice and the city of Tampa have reached a settlement in a lawsuit alleging a city parental leave policy discriminated against male employees.

The Justice Department alleged that the city in 2017 and 2018 did not provide the same amount of leave to male employees as it did to female employees, violating what is known as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Justice Department alleged that female employees were allowed 320 hours of parental leave as “primary caregivers,” while male employees were limited to 80 hours as “secondary caregivers.”

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The settlement, known as a consent decree, was filed Thursday in federal court in Tampa.

It said the city denied wrongdoing and that the agreement should not be “construed as an admission by Tampa or a finding of wrongdoing or violation of any applicable federal law or regulation.”

Under it, the city will pay $300,000 to affected employees and submit a new parental leave policy to the Justice Department for review.

“Providing paid parental leave to employees is a significant benefit that many families rely on so that they can take care of their children,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said in a prepared statement. “This agreement sends a clear message that in providing paid or unpaid parental leave, employers must guarantee that those benefits are provided without reliance on presumptions about which parent can be the primary caregiver.”

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