Fired Library of Congress Staffer Files Discrimination Suit

By Neal Broverman

Originally published on Advocate.com April 09 2012 7:50 PM ET

A 30-year-old employee was fired from his job at the Library of Congress, and he says it’s because he’s gay.

Peter TerVeer was fired earlier this year from his job as a management analyst at the Library of Congress, ostensibly for being “AWOL” from work. But he says he had to take medical leave because, since being hired in 2008, he’s been subjected to antigay harassment from his boss, John Mech, since August 2009.

TerVeer says that after Mech found out he was gay, he began quoting Bible passages to him and giving him poor performance reviews. TerVeer also accuses Mech’s supervisor of stalking him after he became aware that TerVeer was considering a discrimination lawsuit. TerVeer has filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and will likely file a lawsuit as well, his attorney told the Washington Blade.

Library of Congress employees can’t speak on pending personnel matters, according to the Blade. Meanwhile, it’s not clear whether the library considers sexual orientation as a protected characteristic in its antiharassment policies. A library spokeswoman told the Blade that it conforms to Title 7 rules, which bans discrimination based on many factors, though not sexual orientation. But an internal 2010 memo from the Library of Congress claimed sexual orientation discrimination was not allowed there. The library spokeswoman would not tell the Blade which rule currently applies. Read more here.