Campus Notebook: A Counteroffer

Posted February 10, 2009 at 6:33pm

The Library of Congress is offering $10,000 in reparations to Diane Schroer, the transgender woman who recently won a discrimination suit against the agency.

[IMGCAP(1)]It’s far less than the more than $460,000 that Schroer requested, which included about $160,000 for back pay and $300,000 for pain and suffering.

But in a recently filed motion, U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Taylor argues that Schroer “failed to show that she suffered any significant harm due to the Library’s conduct and behavior and because her arguments on this point are for the most speculative and without merit.”

In June 2005, Schroer — then David John Schroer — was offered a position as a senior terrorism researcher at the Congressional Research Service. But the agency backtracked after Schroer told her prospective employer that she would be starting work as a woman.

In September, a federal judge ruled in her favor. Schroer’s lawyer then argued in a motion that the former Army veteran deserves more than $460,000 because she has had trouble finding steady work and suffered numerous emotional problems since the LOC rescinded its offer.

But Taylor contends Schroer earned more doing freelance work than she would have at the LOC — about $700,000 in three years versus about $668,000 for pay and benefits at the Library.

As for any pain and suffering, he argues Schroer’s problems stemmed from her coming out as a woman, not from the Library’s actions.

Submit your Campus Notebook tips here.