Judge: LOC Did Not Discriminate

Posted April 6, 2005 at 6:21pm

A federal judge has awarded summary judgment to the Library of Congress in a discrimination lawsuit.

In a decision issued March 31, U.S. District Judge John Bates ruled that LOC employee Jeanie Kwon, 67, did not present sufficient evidence to support claims that she had faced both age- and race-based discrimination.

In addition, Bates found that Kwon, who is Korean-born, had not been subject to retaliation as the result of earlier complaints she had filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

According to court documents, Kwon, an acquisition technician at the Library, asserted she was twice discriminated against when she sought promotions in 1998 and 2000.

On both occasions, LOC management selected other employees to fill the posts, both of whom were Asian-American women and younger than Kwon.

“[T]he Court can find no basis at all in the record for the contention that discrimination against the elderly or against people of Korean origin played any role” in the Library’s decision to promote another employee over Kwon in 1998, Bates wrote in his ruling.

At the time, Kwon had sought a position as a librarian cataloger in the Library Services Regional Cooperative Cataloging Division Korean/Chinese Team.

Bates found similar failures in Kwon’s complaint over the Library’s decision in 2000 to promote another employee to the position of reference librarian in the Library Services Area Studies Collections Asian Division Korean Section.

“Once again, plaintiff must come forward with more than simply an argument that an employer made an erroneous decision between two qualified candidates,” he wrote.