Lost in the George Zimmerman trial verdict and the finally great weather Chicago has been having is the case of Melissa Nelson, an Iowa woman who lost a job as a dental assistant because her boss thought that she was too hot and a threat to his marriage. Their pictures are above and clearly you can see that she wouldn’t have been able to control herself if he hit on her.
She sued for gender discrimination, but the Judge threw her case out of court. On Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed that decision on Friday saying that it’s not gender discrimination under Iowa to get rid of a worker because you think they are too good looking.
Her boss, Dr. Knight, allegedly told her that her clothing and dress was too distracting (she had been there for ten years as an employee) and that “if she saw his pants bulging, she would know that her clothing was too revealing.”
They were both married with kids, but started texting in some manner. Dr. Knight’s wife found out about it and demanded that Melissa be fired. So Dr. Knight brought his pastor to the office and told Melissa that for the benefit of their respective families, she couldn’t work for him anymore.
The Court said it wasn’t discrimination because she was fired for a personal relationship, not because of her gender.
So in Iowa, you can act like a complete douchebag and fire an employee when your wife finds out about it. If that happens, the employee can’t do anything about it.
Some people were pissed off because the Iowa Supreme Court that decided this case is shockingly made up of all men. But the reality is that if this case was in a place with a more balanced Court like Illinois or anywhere else, it would have ended up the same way. She wasn’t complaining of sexual harassment and got fired as a result. Instead she went along with the harassment and got canned when her boss got busted by his wife.
Employers in Illinois probably won’t be risking lawsuits by getting rid of employees in a similar manner, but if you are hot and move to Iowa you are at risk. It’s just another reason not to live in Iowa.
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