Library Employee Gets $125K Settlement

The Library of Congress will pay $125,000 as part of a settlement reached Friday with an employee who claimed she was the subject of racial and sex discrimination.

In her lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in 2001, Library employee Mandy McGowan, who is Korean, asserted that she had been passed over for selection as deputy associate director for automation in favor of a less qualified, white male applicant.

Under the settlement agreement, which was filed Friday and must still be approved by Magistrate Judge John Facciola, McGowan will be promoted to the Information Technology Services division as a “special projects systems analyst.”

Although the promotion will be retroactive to March 1998, McGowan will not receive backdated benefits or pay and will instead receive the $125,000 lump-sum payment.

Additionally, McGowan will receive 300 hours of sick leave, and “in connection with plaintiff’s new position, the Library will assign plaintiff to an office with a door,” the statement reads.

The Library will also expunge any negative evaluations or reviews from McGowan’s employment record dating back to December 2001.

McGowan’s attorney, Richard Swick, did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

An LOC spokeswoman said the Library does not comment on personnel actions.

In September, the magistrate judge dismissed a portion of McGowan’s lawsuit that asserted she had been similarly discriminated against when seeking a promotion to another position in the Library.

“I am not certain whether plaintiff is claiming that not getting an interview for the Project Management Coordinator Position was motivated by national origin discrimination,” Facciola wrote in his decision. “Assuming she is, this analysis requires its dismissal as well. Assuming, again for the sake of the argument, that not getting the interview was an adverse employment action and that she has otherwise made out a prima facie case, the defendant has produced no legitimate reasons for not granting her that interview.”

McGowan began work at the Library in 1984 and has worked in the Congressional Research Service Technology Office since 1992.