A New York-based Jones Day partner defended the firm’s parental leave policy Tuesday against allegations that it discriminates against fathers by giving them eight fewer weeks than mothers, telling a Washington, D.C., federal judge that the leave policy in question is tied directly to the physical costs of child birth.

At a telephonic hearing, partner Traci Lovitt told U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss that a careful reading of the firm’s short-term disability policy should lead to a swift end to the claims from former associates Mark Savignac and Julia Sheketoff.