Thursday, August 23, 2012

Library of Congress discrimination case seems unusual in federal employment today


To my knowledge, overt discrimination in federal civilian employment (even DOD agencies) has been rare for a few decades, and in 1973 the Civil Service Commission promulgated rules banning discrimination in the federal civilian workplace for sexual orientation.  Security clearances may have remained an ambiguous issue, until well into the 1990s when the Clinton administration passed another rule.

However, the Library of Congress in Washington has a case where a gay man, Peter  TerVeer,  alleges that he was harassed by a  supervisor, John Mech, who TerVeer says proselytized his fatih and harassed him with “religious-based homophobia” in the workplace, particularly after introducing his daughter to him at a college football game, and after his daughter then noticed that TerVeer had entered a Facebook “Like” on a page supporting gay marriage and parenthood (“TwoDada.us”).  This seems to be the second time in recent weeks that there were employment-related consequences for merely entering a Facebook “Like”.

The link for the story (on the “Federal Worker” page B4 of the Washington Post, August 23), by Lisa Rein, is here

VanTeer was fired after missing work.  He has filed a lawsuit in federal district court.  

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