The claim of a male employee arguing that he was afforded child care leave rights inferior to those afforded his female co-workers has survived summary judgment in his Title VII gender discrimination suit pending in the Eastern District of New York. Ehrhard v. Lahood, 2:09-cv-01793-JFB-AKT (Mar. 28, 2012). Ehrhard, a male air traffic controller, asserted that his female peers were entitled to more favorable arrangements for requesting leave for child-care purposes, such as the women’s opportunity to verbally request Leave Without Pay without documentation, requests that were routinely approved. Ehrhard, on the other hand, claimed that he was required to indicate the type of leave that he was taking and the reason for his request, and his requests were denied. The court denied summary judgment for the employer, noting that the employee presented a question of material fact as to whether the disparate treatment was based on his gender. With more men taking on or sharing child-care responsibilities, this decision provides a sound reminder to employers about the dangers of differentiating between women and men in terms of child-care related leave.

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