In October of 2013, a male CNN reporter filed a complaint with the EEOC against CNN’s parent company, Time Warner Cable, regarding discriminatory paternity leave practices by the company. As per Time Warner Cable’s company policy, women are entitled to take up to 10 weeks of paid leave in the form of maternity leave. In other instances, the company allows for men and women to take similar 10-week leaves if they are involved in an adoption or surrogacy process. However, men who are the biological parent of a newborn are only entitled to 2 weeks unpaid time off.
Under Title VII, women are protected for pregnancy and childbirth, and since men cannot get pregnant, they are not afforded the same protections for childbirth, however, there cannot be such a disparity when it comes to other kinds of leave, like for caregiving purposes.
If the EEOC rules in the CNN employee’s favor, it may, potentially, change the landscape of paternity leaves supplied by employers.