Peter TerVeer, a 30-year-old gay man, once worked as a management analyst at the Library of Congress. But in a discrimination complaint filed last week to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, he claims he was fired because of his sexual orientation.
TerVeer claims his former boss, John R. Mech, created a hostile working environment for his employee, even going so far as to cite biblical passages condemning homosexuality in email exchanges.
The Washington Blade reports that TerVeer was humiliated several times by his boss, forcing him to take a disability leave last fall. The Blade further details the the timeline of events, from TerVeer’s hiring in 2008 and being promoted three times, to being outed by his boss’ daughter which lead to numerous problems at work, his disability leave and ultimate firing.
“I contend that I have been subjected to a hostile work environment by Mr. Mech since August 2009 on the basis of my sex (male), sexual orientation (homosexual), and religion (non-denominational Christian/Agnostic),” TerVeer wrote in an affidavit to the EEOC.
FOX News 5 obtained emails allegedly sent by Mech to his employee, in which he wrote, “Peter, putting you and [another Library of Congress employee whose name was not disclosed] closer to God is my effort to encourage you to save your worldly behinds!!!!!!!” In another email to TerVeer, Mech allegedly wrote, “[Jesus] prohibited sexual immorality including homosexuality….”
“My personal perspective as to having my religious beliefs is that homosexuality is not a sin,” TerVeer commented to the news station.
Responding to requests from The Washington Blade, director of communications for the Library of Congress Gayle Osterberg said, “We adhere to Title 7, period.” Title 7 refers to a provision in U.S. civil rights law that bans job discrimination based on race, religion, sex and others but never comments on sexual orientation.
In the 1990s, The Library of Congress revised their policy, banning discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation, but Osterberg would not confirm whether this is still in effect.
Because it is unclear whether or not the policy still remains the same, TerVeer rights for unlawful termination may not be protected.