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May be legal for a boss to fire employee if attracted

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Offhispedestal posted 10/13/2013 21:08 PM

I didn't know where to post this so mods please feel free to put this somewhere else if it needed.
I thought this was important for those BS that their WS is a boss and is afraid to fire AP in order to maintain NC. The actual story is about a dentist who fired his employee because he felt she was too attractive and he became very attracted to her in a few yrs. Instead of acting on those feelings he fired her. This case went to Iowa Supreme Court and the jury agreed! So there might be a loophole to fire an AP???

HurtsButImOK posted 10/13/2013 21:20 PM

IMHO this is all kinds of wrong. He 'might' become attracted to her, WTF!

So I guess based on that logic we could discriminate against anyone 'we' choose to hire, race/gender/disability/stereo/type/narrow minded reason be damned.

Thankfully I don't see this flying in Oz.

eta-fixed a misleading point

[This message edited by HurtsButImOK at 9:27 PM, October 13th (Sunday)]

gonnabe2016 posted 10/13/2013 22:28 PM

A jury didn't give this opinion, the Supreme Court did.

If you work in an *at-will* state, you can be fired....just because. The terminated person can bring suit against employer for some type of wrongful termination....including sexual harassment. IIRC, the woman that filed that suit didn't file under the proper cause of action. Her claim may have succeeded if it had been filed properly....

StillGoing posted 10/13/2013 22:30 PM

While I don't think it should matter as far as the legal principles at play, it still seems worth noting that the assistant hadn't done anything to foster these feelings in her boss. At no point has she been accused of being overly flirtatious or behaving in a manner that would make him believe that she would be open to the idea of an affair with her boss. Again, not that it matters.

^ is from the link there, and:

Nelson denied that what she wore was out of place, and when asked by CNN's Lemon whether she dressed appropriately at work, she said she wore scrubs.

At one point, Knight told Nelson that "if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing," the decision read.

Read the court's decision (PDF)

At another point, in response to an alleged comment Nelson made about the infrequency of her sex life, Knight responded: [T]hat's like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it."

Nelson and Knight, both married with children, also exchanged text messages to each other outside of work. Neither objected to the texting.

But Knight's wife, who was employed at the same dental office, found out about those messages in late 2009 and demanded he fire Nelson.

In early 2010, he did just that.

In the presence of a pastor, Knight told Nelson that she had become a "detriment" to his family and for the sakes of both their families, they should no longer work together. Knight gave Nelson one month's severance.

In a subsequent conversation between Knight and Nelson's husband, Knight said Nelson had done nothing wrong and that "she was the best dental assistant he ever had," the decision read.

Nelson filed a lawsuit, arguing that Knight fired her because of her gender. She did not contend that he committed sexual harassment.

In response, Knight argued that Nelson was fired because of the "nature of their relationship and the perceived threat" to his marriage, not because of her gender. In fact, he said, Knight only employs women and replaced Nelson with another female worker.

Is more of the story they didn't bother to put in for context.

The two important things are that this was not about gender inequality and therefore wasn't discrimination, and that I frankly call bullshit that there was nothing going on.

As they both deny it, and it falls to the wifes discomfort with the situation, then if it's all exactly how things went down? Yes, he should be siding with making his wife feel safe.

Offhispedestal posted 10/14/2013 23:54 PM

I only posted this because I've read BS's here who live with the daily trigger and horrible anxiety that their WS is the boss of ex AP.

I also believe after reading more of this story that these two were in an A ...

I don't even know how I would cope if WH had to work with exMOW

silverhopes posted 10/15/2013 23:27 PM

I read this thread and an earlier one about this... And just now, watching Tosh.0, and the host actually interviewed her and had her come on his show and joke about it! She apparently claimed that her boss's wife had taught her how to make pie. After reading the link that said she was exchanging text messages with her boss outside of work (and the wife, who also worked there, didn't know about the texts), it made watching her joke about the situation very triggery.

If the wife saw it as that serious that he needed to fire her, I'm guessing that there was more going on. Both the boss and the assistant had opportunity (in the months between the wife's request and the boss actually following through) to help her feel safer if there was really nothing going on.

Of course, him telling her that she was "too attractive" to work there sounds like a pretty whimsical way of establishing NC. A or not, how very disrespectful to his wife.

Bobbi_sue posted 10/16/2013 06:02 AM

I have always believed the media presented this the way they wanted for the sensationalism...and to make women mad, believing it to be a case of gender discrimination.

From what I have read of this, the man is a jerk, plain and simple. I have little opinion, one way or the other about the woman who was fired.

I think the dentist's wife may have been a little misguided in thinking getting rid of the attractive assistant would make her husband less of a jerk, but even so, I believe it was the wife who wanted her fired, and for the sake of staying married, he fired her. It really does not have anything to do with gender discrimination, and as has been pointed out, in many states you can fire someone for any reason...including because your spouse asked you to.

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