Lawsuit Alleges US Firm Jones Day Doctored Firm Picture To Make Attorney Look More Caucasian

Above the Law reports…. Wow, the hits just keep on coming for Jones Day. In addition to the class-action gender discrimination lawsuit that’s been filed against the firm (and which we’ve been following closely), they’re now facing a new discrimination lawsuit that goes after the firm’s non-gender neutral parental leave policy and their alleged practice of altering firm photos to make their attorneys more attractive/white. There are a bunch of allegations in the lawsuit which make for a not-so-good look for the firm, so hold tight as I go through them all.

Julia Sheketoff and Mark Savignac are a married couple that both used to work in the appellate practice in Jones Day’s D.C. office. Both former Supreme Court clerks, they say the firm’s parental leave creates an improper distinction between mothers and fathers who seek to take leave, and when Savignac complained about the policy, he was promptly fired. According to the firm’s parental leave policy, biological mothers who are primary caregivers receive 10 weeks of paid family leave as well as eight weeks of disability leave, compared with biological fathers who are also primary caregivers but only get 10 weeks of leave, while new adoptive parents (any gender) who are primary caregivers get the full 18 weeks of paid leave. The EEOC says that an employer may give a biological mother eight additional weeks of disability if it is linked to their physical recovery, but as reported by the New York Times, plaintiffs allege the difference in leave time is based on antiquated assumptions about gender roles:

But in their legal complaint, Mr. Savignac and Ms. Sheketoff argue that Jones Day awards mothers eight additional weeks of paid leave without regard to whether their physical condition warrants it. The plaintiffs write that the policy gives “female associates more time to enable their husbands to prioritize their careers over child care” and “reflects and reinforces archaic gender roles and sex-based stereotypes.”

Full story at