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Iowa top court: Firing of attractive aide is legal

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 03:10 p.m. HST, Jul 12, 2013



IOWA CITY, Iowa » The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday stood by its ruling that a dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant because he found her too attractive and worried he would try to start an affair.

Coming to the same conclusion as it did in December, the all-male court found that bosses can fire employees they see as threats to their marriages, even if the subordinates have not engaged in flirtatious or other inappropriate behavior. The court said such firings do not count as illegal sex discrimination because they are motivated by feelings, not gender.

The ruling upholds a judge’s decision to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit filed against Fort Dodge dentist James Knight, who fired assistant Melissa Nelson, even while acknowledging she had been a stellar employee for 10 years. Knight and his wife believed that his attraction to Nelson — two decades younger than the dentist — had become a threat to their marriage. Nelson, now 33, was replaced by another woman; Knight had an all-female staff. 

The all-male court issued its revised opinion Friday in the case after taking the unusual step last month of withdrawing its December opinion, which had received nationwide publicity, debate and criticism.

Nelson’s attorney, Paige Fiedler, had asked the court in January to reconsider, calling the decision a blow for gender and racial equity in the workplace. She had warned the opinion could allow bosses to legally fire dark-skinned blacks and replace them with light-skinned blacks or small-breasted workers in favor of big-breasted workers.

The court had only granted reconsiderations five times in the last decade.







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miss_laulau wrote:
How horrible! So did the dentist replace her with an old hag so for sure he would not be tempted? He either has no back bone or his marriage is not that strong. Okay men...let's hear from you...lol
on July 12,2013 | 06:55AM
loquaciousone wrote:
dumb dentist
on July 12,2013 | 07:14AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Dumber court.
on July 12,2013 | 09:30AM
XML808 wrote:
Why would the wife marry a person who can't keep his wedding vows sacred? This ruling does not even address whether or not the assistant would even have succumb to his proclivities.
on July 12,2013 | 08:01AM
Mei mei wrote:
Exactly !!! it's this immoral Dentist that can't even control himself - how pathetic is HE!!
on July 12,2013 | 09:13AM
GONEGOLFIN wrote:
He obviously was able to control himself-end result he got rid of her. Let me ask you this. What would have happened if the work relationship went on, he did have an affair, he did get divorced, he did lose his business to his ex-wifes alimony and child support, scarred the assistants life with a false relationship......
on July 12,2013 | 10:59AM
Mei mei wrote:
It was solely the Dentist that had this attraction, and it obviously wasn't mutual. Whether or not the assistant would have eventually welcomed his advances is something else altogether . I'm assuming in the last 10 years she respected that he was a married man, It was the Dentist that couldn't "handle it" no more and had to fire her... If he was that attracted to her, he really needs to Re-asses his marriage/himself! It's NOT her faul that he is attracted to her, if he eventually had an affair well he has to pay for His actions and all consequences thereafter... Now the poor girl is unemployed and not even compensated for the last 10 years of employment working for this bum.
on July 12,2013 | 03:53PM
Usagi336 wrote:
He is an idiot. So I guess he got rid of all his attractive patients too?
on July 12,2013 | 09:37AM
nitpikker wrote:
i dont know...she worked for him for 10 YEARS??? and then he decides shes too beautiful?? wacko!
on July 12,2013 | 07:05AM
cojef wrote:
Yes, and a wimp for listening to his wife's naggings that his dental aid is too attractive. Wife's fears being acted on by this wimp, resulting in agreeing with his wife that he may have physicall attraction to this dental assistant. Wonder if his dental aid's pheromones was acting on his mating instincts? Could happen???
on July 12,2013 | 07:35AM
Mei mei wrote:
This is absolutely OURTAGEOUS!!!!! and even more so for the court to up hold it's decision that this is NOT discrimination... BECAUSE IT CERTAINLY IS!!! this just opens up doors like the article mentions to discriminate according to someones perception of someone... absolutely EGREGIOUS!!
on July 12,2013 | 09:10AM
Sunny wrote:
In Iowa you can also fired an ugly assistant due to severe depression!
on July 12,2013 | 11:37AM
tiki886 wrote:
I would ask, 'Where are the feminazis'? The N.O.W. gang? I mean the NAG gang. The National Association of Gals".

That's right. They only advocate for 'ugly' women.


on July 12,2013 | 03:58PM
tiki886 wrote:
Affirmative action for ugly Liberal women = NAGS
on July 12,2013 | 04:02PM
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