Library of Congress Employees Say They're the Victims of Discrimination

June 3, 2004
Nearly 45 black employees of the Library of Congress have signed a class-action complaint with the library's equal-employment office, according to The Hill, a newspaper covering the inner workings of the U.S. Congress.
"The Library of Congress through its offices, officials, agents and representatives has continuously discriminated and continues to discriminate on the basis of color, race, national origin, and sex," says the complaint. The plaintiffs, according to The Hill, say that minority employees are given the worst jobs and have fewer opportunities for training and promotion.
The library has already revamped its staffing process as a result of a $9 million racial-discrimination settlement in 1994. Also, one library employee, Mandy McGowan, received $125,000 from the library in an October settlement. McGowan, who is of Korean descent, alleged that she had been passed over for promotion in favor of a less qualified white male applicant.
According to The Hill, one black library employee who is not affiliated with the complaint said an informal mentoring system in the library excludes minorities. A mentor, the employee alleges, will show a white employee how to get a promotion, and will talk to management about how promising the employee is, leaving minorities out of the loop.