Homophobic AT&T refuses to let gay employee have time off to take care of partner who had a stroke

UPDATE: AT&T; has changed its tune, now that the story has gone national. Amazing.

They grant that kind of time off to heterosexual employees, but not gay ones. AT&T; says they don’t treat their gay employees the same was their straight employees because – get this – they don’t have to under the law.

Perhaps it’s time the Human Rights Campaign revisited it’s 100% rating for AT&T.; What a bunch of freaking homophobic bigots.

The Dallas Voice has more:

Bryan Dickenson and Bill Sugg have been together for 30 years.
For the last 12 of those years, Dickenson has worked as a communications technician for Dallas-based AT&T.;

After Sugg suffered a debilitating stroke in September, Dickinson requested time off under the federal Family Medical Leave Act to care for his partner.

But AT&T; is refusing to grant Dickenson the 12 weeks of leave that would be afforded to a heterosexual spouse under the act.

As a result, Dickenson is using vacation time so he can spend one afternoon a week at Sugg’s bedside at a rehabilitation facility in Richardson. But Dickenson fears that when his vacation runs out, he’ll end up being fired for requesting additional time off to care for Sugg. Dickenson’s attorney, Rob Wiley of Dallas, said he initially thought AT&T;’s refusal to grant his client leave under FMLA was just a mistake on the part of the company. Wiley said he expected AT&T; to quickly rectify the situation after he sent the company a friendly letter.

After all, AT&T; maintains the highest score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which ranks companies according to their treatment of LGBT employees. And just this week, HRC listed AT&T; as one of its “Best Places to Work.”

But AT&T; has stood its ground, confirming in a statement to Dallas Voice this week that the company isn’t granting Dickenson leave under FMLA because neither federal nor state law recognizes Sugg as his domestic partner.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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