10:23am PT by Eriq Gardner
Fox Facing Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit After Worker's Sabbatical for Sick Wife
Brian Jun, a former tax-planning manager at 21st Century Fox, is focusing on the rights of men to take a leave of absence after the birth of their children.
He's suing Fox with claims that after his wife gave birth in May 2013, she experienced severe postpartum depression. Three months later, Jun said he told a supervisor of his need for reasonable accommodation under the Family Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act.
His supervisor "reacted negatively" to his familial situation, Jun claims, and began treating him differently from other similarly situated employees not preparing to go on a leave of absence. Nevertheless, Jun says he began his leave in December 2013, and upon return, "Fox aggressively retaliated against [him], culminating in the wrongful termination."
Last month, he was issued a "right-to-sue notice" by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Besides FMLA and retaliation claims, Jun alleges pregnancy discrimination on the part of Fox.
On Wednesday, Fox had the lawsuit removed to federal court.
In an answer to the complaint, Fox generally denies the allegations and faults him for not exhausting administrative remedies. Further, the studio maintains it "took reasonable steps to prevent workplace discrimination and/or retaliation from occurring" and says Jun "unreasonably failed to use the preventive and corrective measures" provided to him.
Fox also says the lawsuit is barred because Jun's employment was terminable at will and that actions taken with respect to him were based upon "legitimate, lawful factors wholly unrelated to Plaintiff's alleged exercise of his right to protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act."
Jun is represented by Edward Yun. Fox is being counseled by Meghann Conner.