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Virginia Policy Prohibiting Staff From Marrying Prisoners Upheld

The plaintiff prison guard married a convicted felon, the father of her child, and resigned under pressure in light of the prison system's anti-fraternization policy. (The man was convicted and incarcerated after he fathered the child but before they got married.)

The plaintiff's resignation was not voluntary, since the alternative was termination and it appeared that the employer's mind was made up.

The anti-fraternization policy is not subject to heightened scrutiny, since it didn't prevent the plaintiff from getting married to the man of her choice, and it didn't foreclose her employment anywhere else. The policy is upheld under the rational basis standard.

The fact that the plaintiff had conceived a child with the man before his felony conviction is not discussed. See: Wolford v. Angelone, 38 F.Supp.2d 452 (W.D.Va. 1999).

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Related legal case

Wolford v. Angelone