Campus Notebook: A Monetary Reward

Posted February 3, 2009 at 6:25pm

A transgender woman who won a discrimination lawsuit against the Library of Congress has asked a judge to award her more than $460,000.

[IMGCAP(1)]In September, U.S. District Judge James Robertson ruled that the agency discriminated against Diane Schroer when it rescinded a job offer after learning of her impending transition from male to female.

In a recently filed motion, Schroer claims that losing the job caused a series of professional and emotional problems — especially since she had gone public with her transgender plans when she first learned she had been hired.

“The die had been cast, and there was no way for me to go back into the closet and try to pass for a little while longer while I regrouped and developed a Plan B with respect to my professional transition,” she said in a court statement.

Schroer, an Army veteran, was offered a position as a senior terrorism researcher at the Congressional Research Service in June 2005. But when she told her prospective employer she would be starting work as a woman — and not as David John Schroer — the agency backtracked.

Ever since, Schroer says, she’s struggled to find a permanent job, instead taking freelance jobs from friends and former colleagues, a result, she contends, of the Library’s actions. In addition, she said, companies hesitate to hire someone who is suing their former employer.

She’s now asking for $160,020 in back pay and $300,000 in compensation. She also wants about $7,500 to pay for therapy bills and dental work due to anxious grinding of her teeth.

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