Who knew that being an attractive woman can be so enticing to one’s boss that he can fire you–and it’s not illegal!
A dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant that he found attractive simply because he and his wife viewed the woman as a threat to their marriage, the all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The court ruled 7-0 that bosses can fire employees they see as an “irresistible attraction,” even if the employees have not engaged in flirtatious behavior or otherwise done anything wrong. Such firings may be unfair, but they are not unlawful discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act because they are motivated by feelings and emotions, not gender, Justice Edward Mansfield wrote.
An attorney for Fort Dodge dentist James Knight said the decision, the first of its kind in Iowa, is a victory for family values because Knight fired Melissa Nelson in the interest of saving his marriage, not because she was a woman.
But Nelson’s attorney said Iowa’s all-male high court, one of only a handful in the nation, failed to recognize the discrimination that women see routinely in the workplace.
“These judges sent a message to Iowa women that they don’t think men can be held responsible for their sexual desires and that Iowa women are the ones who have to monitor and control their bosses’ sexual desires,” said attorney Paige Fiedler. “If they get out of hand, then the women can be legally fired for it.
So, in a nutshell, a man is only human–he can’t control his lust, so it’s the woman’s responsibility not to come off as too attractive. You heard me, ladies: no make up, no lipstick or lip gloss; hell, you may as well just stop bathing and wear the same thing everyday. Any effort to look presentable could be seen as a threat to a man’s marriage!
According to the story, Nelson worked for the dentist for 10 years and she was an outstanding employee! However, the article noted the dentist told Nelson “that if his pants were bulging that was a sign her clothes were too revealing, according to the opinion.”
You hear that ladies? Your best bet to avoid possibly arousing any man is to dress in Victorian-era clothing–and please bypass the corsets. We can’t make the menfolk too uncomfortable with all those natural curves bursting out at the seams…
Sexual harassment in the work place? Please, woman. It’s your fault for being so damn sexy. If you are giving men erections, you obviously can’t control that hot body of yours. So, you will bring that inevitable job termination on yourself. Being all hot and shit…
More from the story:
He also once allegedly remarked about her infrequent sex life by saying, “that’s like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it.”
Knight and Nelson – both married with children – started exchanging text messages, mostly about personal matters, such as their families. Knight’s wife, who also worked in the dental office, found out about the messages and demanded Nelson be fired. The Knights consulted with their pastor, who agreed that terminating Nelson was appropriate.
Knight fired Nelson and gave her one month’s severance. He later told Nelson’s husband that he worried he was getting too personally attached and feared he would eventually try to start an affair with her.
Nelson was stunned because she viewed the 53-year-old Knight as a father figure and had never been interested in starting a relationship, Fiedler said.
Nelson filed a lawsuit alleging gender discrimination, arguing she would not have been terminated if she was male. She did not allege sexual harassment because Knight’s conduct may not have risen to that level and didn’t particularly offend her, Fiedler said.
Knight argued Nelson was fired not because of her gender, but because her continued employment threatened his marriage. A district judge agreed, dismissing the case before trial, and the high court upheld that ruling.
Mansfield noted that Knight had an all-female workforce and Nelson was replaced by a woman.
He said the decision was in line with state and federal court rulings that found workers can be fired for relationships that cause jealousy and tension within a business owner’s family. One such case from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a business owner’s firing of a valued employee who was seen by his wife as a threat to their marriage. In that case, the fired employee had engaged in flirtatious conduct.
So, instead of the court instructing this man to grow up and learn how to respect the women he works with by maintaining a professional relationship and workplace, they instead validated his insecurities with women in general and allowed him to perform gender discrimination at his dental practice.
In other words, this Iowa court validated the rape culture meme force-fed to women from the time they can realize that their bodies solely exist to please the mens: your own actions are to blame for your misfortunes.
You, woman! If any male employer finds you just too tempting that he even thinks about stepping outside his marriage, then your job may legally be on the line. And you can’t do a damn thing about it!
Don’t fret, though. Your termination won’t be in vain–it was done to protect the sanctity of marriage and to promote family values. Your male boss’s ability to fire you because you are hot has saved yet another male soul from giving in to his desires to succumb to that nasty plague of infidelity! Give yourself a pat on that sexy back!