"Day Without A Gay" Protest May Lead to Absences
December 9, 2008
Some gay rights activists have called for a "day without a gay" protest on Wednesday, December 10, 2008, in which gays and lesbians are encouraged to skip work and "call in gay." According to the Chicago Tribune, one Chicago-area activist said that he did not actually expect workers to "call in gay," but to "find one way or the other not to be in work that day...".
Although Illinois law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based upon their sexual orientation, employers are not required to make exceptions from their established attendance policies merely because an employee wishes to participate in a political protest. However, employers considering action against employees who they know or suspect are skipping work to participate in this protest should take care not to single these employees out for harsher treatment than other similarly situated employees.