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Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:07 PM

Iowa Court: Bosses Can Fire 'Irresistible' (attractive female) Workers

Iowa Court: Bosses Can Fire 'Irresistible' Workers

The Iowa Supreme Court says a dentist did not commit gender discrimination when he fired an attractive female assistant he viewed as a threat to his marriage.

The court ruled Friday that a boss can fire an employee he considers an "irresistible attraction," even if the employee has done nothing wrong.

The decision is the first in Iowa, but in line with rulings elsewhere.

Justices rejected a discrimination lawsuit filed by Melissa Nelson, who was fired by Fort Dodge dentist James Knight in 2010.

Nelson had worked in Knight's office for 10 years. She and Knight eventually started texting outside work about personal matters. Knight's wife, who also worked at the office, found out and demanded Nelson's firing.

Knight's lawyer says the court's decision is "in favor of family values."

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/iowa-court-bosses-fire-irresistible-workers-18038838#.UNTPPazT1iM

43 replies, 2825 views

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Reply Iowa Court: Bosses Can Fire 'Irresistible' (attractive female) Workers (Original post)
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2012 OP
Tommy_Carcetti Dec 2012 #1
ZombieHorde Dec 2012 #2
Rex Dec 2012 #4
ZombieHorde Dec 2012 #9
Rex Dec 2012 #10
ZombieHorde Dec 2012 #16
Rex Dec 2012 #17
ZombieHorde Dec 2012 #20
Rex Dec 2012 #22
ZombieHorde Dec 2012 #23
Rex Dec 2012 #28
ZombieHorde Dec 2012 #32
maxrandb Dec 2012 #14
ZombieHorde Dec 2012 #18
immoderate Dec 2012 #31
cui bono Dec 2012 #24
ZombieHorde Dec 2012 #27
EOTE Dec 2012 #8
ZombieHorde Dec 2012 #11
Rex Dec 2012 #13
Rex Dec 2012 #3
Initech Dec 2012 #5
blueclown Dec 2012 #6
Rex Dec 2012 #12
jberryhill Dec 2012 #38
blueclown Dec 2012 #42
jberryhill Dec 2012 #43
unblock Dec 2012 #7
maxrandb Dec 2012 #39
petronius Dec 2012 #15
cui bono Dec 2012 #25
Lizzie Poppet Dec 2012 #19
Amaril Dec 2012 #21
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #26
Baitball Blogger Dec 2012 #29
Iggy Dec 2012 #30
Manifestor_of_Light Dec 2012 #33
life long demo Dec 2012 #34
R B Garr Dec 2012 #35
Piazza Riforma Dec 2012 #36
niyad Dec 2012 #37
niyad Dec 2012 #40
Sen. Walter Sobchak Dec 2012 #41

Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:09 PM

1. At will employment, don't you just love it? nt

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:12 PM

2. That is interesting to me.

Last edited Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:29 PM - Edit history (1)

On one hand, it's really lame that she lost her job for being "irresistible," on the other hand, I understand and respect the desire for the Dentist to preserve his marriage.

Edit: My post is causing some confusion, and that is probably my fault. I don't like that he flirted with the woman, and I don't like that she lost her job. I do like his desire to preserve his marriage.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:15 PM

4. You respect him for being weak willed?

What a strange world.

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Response to Rex (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:37 PM

9. No. I typed what I meant.

I respect him for trying to preserve his marriage.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:41 PM

10. By ending the career of someone else.

Right, got it.

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Response to Rex (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:48 PM

16. I adressed that too.

I said that I didn't like that she was fired.

All of the words in my post were meant to go together. Similarly, I assume the first sentence of your post, "(b)y ending the career of someone else", provides context for the second sentence of your post, "(r)ight, got it."

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #16)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:49 PM

17. Ya you said that was really 'lame'.

Your comments speak for themselves.

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Response to Rex (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:51 PM

20. What do my comments say to you? nt

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:52 PM

22. That I am wasting my time here.

You respect a weak willed man for firing a woman he lusts after after 10 years of employment. That is what your comment means to me. Anything else?

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Response to Rex (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:56 PM

23. That is not what I said. I do not respect him for firing her.

I don't think she should have been fired.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:04 PM

28. You asked what your comment 'said' to me

that is what I infer (as evidently a lot of people did too) from your post. I am sorry if what I interpreted as you meaning was off base...but that is how I read your original post.

That is what the post 'said' to me - 'well at least he is worried about his marriage enough to ruin someone else's life'.

Obviously I am wrong and I apologize.



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Response to Rex (Reply #28)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:10 PM

32. I should have been more clear. nt

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:45 PM

14. Bull

I'd bet money that he was "hitting" on her, and when the wife found out, she said; "either fire her, or I'm taking you for all you've got".

I think it's silly to try to convey some sense of "integrity" to this guy.

Call me cynical, but he was hoping to bed the assistant, the wife found out, and he threw the assistant under the bus.

That a court would "validate" this ought to be shocking to all of us.

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Response to maxrandb (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:50 PM

18. I am unable to read minds, I have never met this man or woman,

and I have only a few sentences to use for judgment.

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Response to maxrandb (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:07 PM

31. If he was "hitting" she would not have taken it to court.

--imm

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:56 PM

24. And what you meant says that the Dentist was weak willed as he had to get rid of the

female employee rather than control his own actions.

That is offensive and sexist.

Why didn't the dentist get a job elsewhere to preserve his marriage? Why didn't he just quit to preserve his marriage?

What a bullshit excuse and lame defense.

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Response to cui bono (Reply #24)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:03 PM

27. I'm not excusing anything. The words in my post were meant to go together.

I said I didn't like that she was fired. That was meant to provide context for the rest of the sentence. Ideas within the same sentence reflect upon each other.

I respect his motivation, as per the article, not his behavior.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:36 PM

8. If he was really concerned about preserving his marriage, he would have attempted to fire her before

his wife found the texts the two had been sharing. As it stands now, it just seems like he's trying to cover his ass.

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Response to EOTE (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:42 PM

11. Maybe. nt

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Response to EOTE (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:45 PM

13. Or he could have been a professional and learned how to work

with this 'stunningly beautiful' woman like most normal employees do on a daily basis. I hope he gets sued into a dumpster.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:14 PM

3. She should be glad to be away from that sexist pig.

He was going to use her then drop her in the dustbin when the wife found out.

What a fucked up ruling imo.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:24 PM

5. Family values my ass.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:33 PM

6. On what constitutional basis can someone discriminate against

a certain class of people (women)?

This seems like a fairly clean cut example of a violation of equal protection, and it's just shocking to me that it's been upheld in federal courts too.

I don't care about the previous case law.. this looks and smells like gender discrimination. I am curious to see if Mrs. Nelson will file a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to settle this matter once and for all.

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Response to blueclown (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:43 PM

12. Same here, kinda shocked at the ruling.

I thought discrimination in the workplace was illegal. Shows what I know.

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Response to blueclown (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 06:01 PM

38. The problem is that it is not discrimination against the class


Figure... The counterargument is that he didn't fire her because she was a woman per se.

Ridiculous decision, but that's pretty much at-will employment. Unless the firing is for a specific set of impermissible reasons, the employer can fire anyone for anything.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #38)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 04:27 AM

42. Doesn't this involve disparate impact?

If a certain employment action has a disparate impact on a certain class of people (read: women), it is discriminatory and illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

Why wouldn't this apply here?

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Response to blueclown (Reply #42)

Sat Dec 22, 2012, 08:20 PM

43. Because it only impacts one person



http://www.iowacourts.gov/Supreme_Court/Recent_Opinions/20121221/11-1857.pdf

Nelsonís arguments warrant serious consideration, but we ultimately think a distinction exists between (1) an isolated employment decision based on personal relations (assuming no coercion or quid pro quo), even if the relations would not have existed if the employee had been of the opposite gender, and (2) a decision based on gender itself. In the former case, the decision is driven entirely by individual feelings and emotions regarding a specific person. Such a decision is not gender-based, nor is it based on factors that might be a proxy for gender.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:34 PM

7. all-male court

basically he fired her was lusting after her.

he imagined he might someday have an affair with her.

as he's presumably not bisexual, this is clearly a situation that could not have arisen were she male.

so how is this not gender discrimination?




now, of course, if he can fire for that reason, he can hire or promote for that reason as well.

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Response to unblock (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 06:27 PM

39. this country has lost its fucking mind

We should just be thankful the judges didn't decide to stone her.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:47 PM

15. What a despicable ruling (and a despicable dentist). If this court decision is in any

way correct, then the law needs to be changed - people should not be fired for any personal characteristics that do not directly and actively impair their ability to do the job nor negatively affect the workplace.

I'm somewhat sorry that I don't live closer to Fort Dodge, so that my decision to never ever go to Dr. James Knight for treatment would carry a bit more weight. And if I was a female patient in particular, I'd be extremely creeped out by this dentist's apparent lack of personal control and ethics...

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Response to petronius (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:00 PM

25. Yeah, does he turn away attractive female patients for the same reason?

How would a court rule on that?

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:51 PM

19. Unbelievably stupid decision.

And it was unanimous, no less...

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 04:52 PM

21. Family values my ass

Slut-shaming is what it is. How DARE she be attractive! She was obviously a trollop who deserved to be fired from a job she had performed successfully (a "stellar worker" per the article) for 10 years. Did the court also issue her a scarlet A and order her to wear it at all times?

And a pox on the wife for turning her venom on the woman and demanding her termination instead of aiming it where it belonged -- at the man who entered into a social contract with her & was considering violating it (with a woman who had done NOTHING to encourage his lascivious thoughts). I swear, the biggest obstacle women sometimes have in the continuing struggle to achieve true equality is other fucking women.

AND, I don't know why men aren't absolutely furious at this ruling -- it's basically saying that men are too weak to control themselves and have to be given a pass because, you know, it's just not their fault, the poor babies.

God! I wish the human race would just fucking EVOLVE already!

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:03 PM

26. Sounds like "Bosses WIFE can fire attractive female workers".

She worked there for 10 years.

If the wife didn't find out, she'd still be there.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:05 PM

29. Good God. What is the affirmative defense against something like this?

I shudder to think.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:06 PM

30. HUh? I'm for

 

promoting babes.... heh hehh...

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:17 PM

33. In law school we learned about the "attractive nuisance", but not this.


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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:17 PM

34. Ladies, get your burqas out

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:22 PM

35. maybe the court tried to squeeze this in under the alienation of affection laws

but I'm not sure about Iowa law and even then it would seem a stretch. This is a real eye-opener for women who work for creeps.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:23 PM

36. Isn't this the justification that fundamentalist Muslims use for requiring burqas?

 

If this "professional" is too weak willed to look past a woman's beauty then he's not a dentist I would want to go to.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 05:50 PM

37. does anyone else here remember that, when we were fighting to get the ERA--we were told that

it wasn't necessary, because "the courts protect you"?

yeah, the courts are doing a great job of protecting us.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:16 PM

40. did the woman suddenly have plastic surgery? an extreme makeover? she worked there for ten

years, and suddenly the dentist's wife decides she is a risk? she didn't know for ten years what this woman looked like? this is such an absurd story--one wonders why the dentist's wife was so insecure, so petty--would almost bet the husband has not been entirely faithful.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 07:25 PM

41. We had a guy ask that a new woman be fired because his wife didn't want them travelling together

He was laughed out of the room.

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