Sunday, December 23, 2012

Iowa Supreme Court: Firing Attractive Female Employee Because Of Wife's Objections Is Not Sex Discrimination

In Nelson v. Knight, (IA Sup. Ct., Dec. 21, 2012), the Iowa Supreme Court upheld a decision by dentist James Knight to fire Melissa Nelson, a dental assistant who had worked for him for over ten years, after Knight's wife became concerned that Nelson posed a threat to their marriage. Knight was becoming personally attracted to Nelson and he feared he would eventually try to have an affair with her if he did not fire her. Knight reached the decision to fire Nelson after he and his wife consulted with the senior pastor of their church. Knight arranged for another pastor from the church to be present and witness the conversation in which he fired Nelson, and also a subsequent conversation he had with Nelson's husband about the firing.  The state Supreme Court held that the firing did not amount to gender discrimination. AP reports on the decision.