Department of Criminal Injustice?

A former TDCJ employee sues, claiming gender discrimination

By Jordan Smith, Fri., June 15, 2012

Department of Criminal Injustice?

Michelle Lyons, former director of public information for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, has sued the agency, arguing that it first demoted and then fired her because she is a woman. According to the suit, filed last week in federal court, she was singled out (disciplined, demoted, and later fired) and accused of failing to properly record her work hours. Lyons denied any improper recording of work hours and said she recorded her time in the manner she'd been taught by previous supervisors. Indeed, she pointed to several male employees who recorded their time in the same way, none of whom was investigated or disciplined for any time-recording issues. Lyons worked in the prison agency's public information office for more than a decade before leaving last month; she was also allegedly targeted for harassment when she treated a TDCJ employee blogger who requested public information (see www.thebackgate.org) the same as she would other reporters. A formal reply to the lawsuit by TDCJ is pending.

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