A former government employee claims he was fired for being gay after he “liked” a pro gay-and-lesbian Facebook page.
According to Roll Call
, former Library of Congress employee Peter TerVeer told the organization’s Equal Employment Opportunity Complaints (EEOC) office that he had a good relationship with his ex-supervisor, John Mech. But when TerVeer “liked” the Two Dads page on Facebook
, which promotes awareness of the gay and lesbian community, things allegedly got weird:
“Shortly after, TerVeer said, he started to receive emails from Mech that contained ‘religiously motivated harassment and discrimination.’ Mech then called him into a meeting for the purposes of ‘educating him on hell and that it awaited him for being a homosexual.’”
The harassment grew so bad that TerVeer’s doctor advised him to go on extended medical leave, Roll Call
reports. He was later fired for missing 37 consecutive days of work.
The EEOC office has 180 days to review the case. If no action is taken, the next step, according to TerVeer’s lawyer, is legal action. A Library of Congress rep declined to comment to Roll Call
Currently, the EEOC does not protect against workplace discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation. In fact, President Obama on Wednesday backed away from issuing an executive that would bar federal contractors from discriminating against workers based on sexual orientation. Human Rights Watch told The Huffington Post
it was extremely disappointed with the decision.
This isn’t the first case of personal Facebook pages intersecting with someone’s professional life. In recent months we’ve seen stories of potential employers asking for Facebook passwords
in separate instances
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