Complaint: Library of Congress biased

April 10, 2012 at 10:58 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission could issue an opinion soon on an ex-Library of Congress worker's discrimination allegation because he's gay.

Peter TerVeer, who was a management analyst in the library's Inspector General's Office, alleged in the complaint that his former supervisor John Mech discriminated against him once he learned TerVeer was a homosexual, Roll Call reported Monday.

Until then, TerVeer said in his complaint, he received stellar reviews and awards for his work, and worked well and was friends with Mech.

After Mech learned TerVeer was gay in August 2009, TerVeer said in his complaint, he began receiving e-mails from Mech that had "religiously motivated harassment and discrimination."

TerVeer said whenever he challenged Mech about a less-than-stellar review he received after Mech knew about TerVeer's homosexuality, he was verbally abused and humiliated in front of others. Because of the stress, TerVeer said his doctor ordered him to go on extended medical leave.

He was fired for missing 37 consecutive workdays, even though TerVeer said in the complaint library officials had signed off on his request for disability time off.

A Library of Congress representative said the agency does not comment on personnel matters.

A complaint was filed with the library's Equal Employment Opportunity Complaints Office in late September. Once the EEOC receives a complaint, it has 180 days to issue an opinion before the complainant may file a formal lawsuit within 90 days.

The EEOC looks to protect employees subject to discrimination as defined by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bars employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin but not sexual orientation. However, TerVeer's attorney said his client also alleged discrimination based on his gender and religious beliefs.

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