Saturday, March 03, 2018

Inmate Is Not "Employee" Under Title VII

A Texas federal magistrate's decision in Smith v. Gonzales, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31836 (ND TX, Feb. 2, 2018), adopted by the court at 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30160 (Feb. 26, 2018), rejected a Title VII religious discrimination claim filed by a state prison inmate.  Plaintiff David Wayne Smith alleged religious discrimination because he was required to work in his prison job on the Sabbath. The court, relying in part on a 1986 EEOC opinion, held that the inmate is not an "employee" for purposes of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.