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Iowa high court says bosses can fire workers who they consider an ‘irresistible attraction’
Washington Post ^ | 12/21/12

Posted on 12/22/2012 10:38:53 AM PST by Clint N. Suhks

IOWA CITY, Iowa — 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.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: attractiveemployee; attractivenuisance; iowa; iowasupremecourt
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1 posted on 12/22/2012 10:39:01 AM PST by Clint N. Suhks
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To: Clint N. Suhks

See precedent for “Attractive Nuisance”.....i..e, a neighbor’s unfenced pool, unfenced trampoline, et al....


2 posted on 12/22/2012 10:43:50 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: Clint N. Suhks

Not only did they turn a simple decision into mindless gobble-de-gook, they wasted a bunch of time an money doing it

You cannot force people to LIKE each other- we had one employee we hired because he looked good on paper, but he turned out to be a TOTAL JERK that everyone hated

We were a little surprised at the glowing reviews his previous employer gave him, when they knew he was interviewing with us

We fired his a$$ and he sued- but he was white so he lost


3 posted on 12/22/2012 10:44:41 AM PST by Mr. K (There are lies, dammed lies, statistics, and democrap talking points.)
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To: Clint N. Suhks

Why then did he hire her in the first place? (Wife not present at the time?)


4 posted on 12/22/2012 10:44:56 AM PST by Moltke ("I am Dr. Sonderborg," he said, "and I don't want any nonsense.")
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To: Clint N. Suhks

Certainly goes a long way toward explaining why I lost so many jobs as a wild and handsome youth; the women just couldn’t resist me - one of the reasons I was too distracted to do my job and took so many unauthorized days off.

Just too darned good-looking.


5 posted on 12/22/2012 10:44:56 AM PST by Jack Hammer
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To: Clint N. Suhks

Oddly, the kooks on the Iowa Supreme Court seem to recognize that employer-employee relationship is mutual and un-coerced. Just as one may quit for any reason, one may be let go for any reason. The employee can collect unemployment, as there is no allegation the employee acted improperly.


6 posted on 12/22/2012 10:46:05 AM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Moltke

Your Honor, I’m not able to control ny Johnson. And my wife is jealous anyway. So can you save me the money from a lawsuit and make this woman just go away?

Thanks!


7 posted on 12/22/2012 10:47:15 AM PST by Norm Lenhart
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To: Norm Lenhart

Alternatively, Your Honor, I hired this woman based on my sexual attraction to her, not her skills. It was my intent to hit her like the hammer of an angry God at every opportunity. But she rejected my advances. Since I can’t falt her work performance, well, I need help here. My wife wants hewr gone so what can I do?


8 posted on 12/22/2012 10:52:51 AM PST by Norm Lenhart
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To: Clint N. Suhks

No pictures - how can we make an informed judgement?


9 posted on 12/22/2012 10:53:39 AM PST by DaveyB (Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. -John Adams)
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To: Clint N. Suhks

Affirmative Action for ugly people.


10 posted on 12/22/2012 10:54:44 AM PST by DTogo (High time to bring back The Sons of Liberty !!)
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To: Clint N. Suhks

Uh oh. Obama’s attention whore sex pistols...

Call Sandra Fluke...y!!!!


11 posted on 12/22/2012 10:55:11 AM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: Clint N. Suhks; Revolting cat!

Bill Clinton should’ve fired Monica Lewinsky. Hillary should fire Huma.


12 posted on 12/22/2012 11:01:31 AM PST by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
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To: Moltke

A very attractive young female showed up for job interview by me, and I thought the same thing, that she would be a big distraction with my all male subordinates. So, I did not offer her the job.


13 posted on 12/22/2012 11:09:06 AM PST by entropy12 (The republic is doomed when people figure out they can get free stuff by voting democrats)
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To: Clint N. Suhks

Went to the WP to see PICTURES of these incredible creatures...and all I saw was Big Bird.

Whadupwidat?


14 posted on 12/22/2012 11:10:23 AM PST by moovova
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To: Clint N. Suhks

Despite this ruling, I suspect attractive females will still find more doors open to them than unattractive females.

Interesting thought: If they say it is OK to fire a woman because she is too good looking, wonder if they would also say it is OK to fire a woman because she is NOT good looking?


15 posted on 12/22/2012 11:13:34 AM PST by I cannot think of a name
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To: Clint N. Suhks

Well lets get it right. The Dentist’s wife made the Dentist fire the asst he was attracted to becuase she thought it endangered their marriage. :-)


16 posted on 12/22/2012 11:13:54 AM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Clint N. Suhks

Should be able to fire people in general.


17 posted on 12/22/2012 11:20:40 AM PST by Andrei Bulba (No Obama, no way!)
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To: a fool in paradise

The world didn’t end yesterday, it turned upside down. Before 12/21/12 bosses gave “irresistibly attractive” employees generous raises.


18 posted on 12/22/2012 11:21:40 AM PST by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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So what about the firing “for any reason” mantra so often expressed around here?

As a “lower-case” libertarian, I support firing for any reason. And yes, there are times when it might be completely unfair. But it’s not the govt’s job to make fair; the community, media, and market should handle that.

Fire away, statists.


19 posted on 12/22/2012 11:24:01 AM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: Clint N. Suhks

frankly, I personally believe that by the foundational prinicipals in the Constitution “discrimination” on any grounds is allowed all of us in our private consensual affairs, including employment; it is only government and government institutions that cannot “discriminate” because the government is everyone’s government

we are entitled to our personal values and value systems in our private lives, but in government we are required to leave our personal prejudices at the door

leaving our prejudices at the door, when it comes to the government, means we cannot write our own prejudices into the law, and it also means the law cannot force us into personal associations our own values are not in agreement with


20 posted on 12/22/2012 11:27:18 AM PST by Wuli
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To: Clint N. Suhks

Did she somehow become better looking since he hired her?


21 posted on 12/22/2012 11:28:13 AM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Clint N. Suhks
Such firings may be unfair, but they are not unlawful

I wish more people would realize that unfair does not mean and should not mean unlawful all or even most of the time.

Life sucks. Wear a helmet.

22 posted on 12/22/2012 11:29:29 AM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Fate plays chess and you don't find out until too late that he's been using two queens all along)
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To: Gene Eric
There is a difference between firing and laying off. One carries a connotation of poor performance or wrongdoing. If the pretext for firing rises to the level of slander and is demonstrably inaccurate, there should be not just a penalty for it but restrictions. I say that as a former business owner who has hired, fired and laid people off in the past.

Employment at will does not mean you're free to be a lying @hole. It's their livelihood, you're throwing their lives into turmoil. Not a thing to be flippant or vindictive about, at all, for your good as well as theirs.

23 posted on 12/22/2012 11:35:25 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Clint N. Suhks
worthless
24 posted on 12/22/2012 11:38:29 AM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: Gene Eric; MinuteGal

One way to look at the need for ugly
women (per the dentist’ wife) is -
more job opportunities for the femi-nazi’s.


25 posted on 12/22/2012 11:39:04 AM PST by seenenuf ( Save the Right Supremes.)
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To: Moltke

(I’d think that’s a fair assumption.)


26 posted on 12/22/2012 11:41:09 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: jjotto

That’s all true. However, they have given bosses’ wives a huge cudgel to bop attractive women out of the workplace, because they do have coercive power over their husbands.


27 posted on 12/22/2012 11:47:17 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: SVTCobra03

I cannot find a pic anywhere.


28 posted on 12/22/2012 11:55:25 AM PST by Clint N. Suhks
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To: Jack Hammer

Reminds me of my college days...I remember one night, there must have been 20 blondes frantically pounding on my door. I finally had to get up and let them out.


29 posted on 12/22/2012 11:56:02 AM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: Clint N. Suhks
Dollars to donuts it wasn't his idea.
30 posted on 12/22/2012 12:08:04 PM PST by NonValueAdded (If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you've likely misread the situation.)
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To: RegulatorCountry

>> Employment at will does not mean you’re free to be a lying @hole. It’s their livelihood, you’re throwing their lives into turmoil. Not a thing to be flippant or vindictive about, at all, for your good as well as theirs.

There are legitimate remedies for slander not dependent on employment.

>> you’re free
>> you’re throwing
>> for your good

You mean “the employer”.

You seem to have a paternal view on this matter which of course is your option. Doesn’t mean, however, your thoughtful views should be law.


31 posted on 12/22/2012 12:17:28 PM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: RegulatorCountry
If the pretext for firing rises to the level of slander and is demonstrably inaccurate, there should be not just a penalty for it but restrictions.

The penalty is the restriction. And are you suggesting there should be some special class of slander torts where you get extra goodies if the slander applies to your employment?

I know, I know - in our day and age the 'There Oughta be a Law' impulse is just too hard control. And it really is too much to expect for anyone, including conservatives, to resist its allure of immediate gratification.

32 posted on 12/22/2012 12:17:44 PM PST by vbmoneyspender
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To: Clint N. Suhks

Smells supiciously of sharia law. Can’t have women show their faces or their ankles because men can’t control their little mohammeds.


33 posted on 12/22/2012 12:32:11 PM PST by bgill (We've passed the point of no return. Welcome to Al Amerika.)
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To: Clint N. Suhks

An employer should have the right to hire and fire anyone he/she wants—it’s none of the government’s darned business.


34 posted on 12/22/2012 12:38:56 PM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: I cannot think of a name

Consider numerous court cases involving hiring at Hooters and other “eye candy” venues.


35 posted on 12/22/2012 12:43:41 PM PST by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com)
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To: Gene Eric

A conservative finding paternalism to be a negative is something of a recent phenomenon, no doubt stemming from the rise of feminism.

You as employer should have at least some level of regard and care for those in your employ. Not having it has led to unions on the one hand or hellish company towns from which you’d be hard pressed to escape to the other extreme.

Now we have more or less sociopathic management without the least bit of concern one way or the other. Unions or even company stores and scrip will start looking better by comparison with where we are headed.

Understand the political reality that is being created by such blatant @holes. Maybe you’re in a union state and don’t see it, or maybe you’re in one of the few pockets that remain economically healthy. I don’t know, but you seem to be wearing blinders of a sort.


36 posted on 12/22/2012 12:45:09 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Clint N. Suhks

Glad to see someone understands the difference between illegal and unfair, not nice, immoral, etc..

So long someone is fired for a reason that is not illegal then it is not illegal to fire that person. I have this argument all the time with people. I once fired a guy because his hair was blue, seriously. He got mad, everyone under 30 got mad, and they all said I should be sued for discrimination. It was good for a laugh when I asked to see the law that made firing blue headed workers illegal.


37 posted on 12/22/2012 1:05:02 PM PST by FreedomNotSafety
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To: Clint N. Suhks

George Constanza (almost) got away with it.
He refused to hire a ‘good looking chick’ because he was afraid she would distract him.

So, he hired ‘Marian, the Librarian’ and she was so efficient he went after her anyway and during a ‘fateful moment’ screamed out “You are getting a raise” and she ended up making more than him..

Sometimes these things just DON’T work out - FOR EVERYONE.


38 posted on 12/22/2012 1:06:39 PM PST by xrmusn (6/98 "It is virtually impossible to clean the pond as long as the pigs are still crapping in it")
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To: Mr. K
We fired his a$$ and he sued- but he was white so he lost

Noted!

Our all-around twisted abnormal world!

39 posted on 12/22/2012 1:28:21 PM PST by parisa
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To: Clint N. Suhks

Dig deeper...he was sexually harassing her, with comments like “the bulge in my pants means your clothes are too revealing”, and her “...not having sex is like keeping a Lamborghini in the garage”. She should have sued for sexual harassment and she’d own his practice instead of being unemployed.


40 posted on 12/22/2012 1:54:05 PM PST by Wolfie
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To: RegulatorCountry

I don’t agree with the underlying premise that firing without “just cause” is lawfully immoral. Furthermore, not sure why you insist on making this personal by suggesting I practice what you deem to be immoral.

I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but there’s this bull-headed view among certain Conservatives that says: “Unless the force of law is backing morality than there’s no morality.” That’s statism, and I’d rather take the smaller lumps that come with libertarianism.


41 posted on 12/22/2012 2:01:04 PM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: Jack Hammer

‘Just too darned good-looking.’

That must have been a burden for you in your life.

I on the other hand, have had to rely on brains and sheer talent.

BTW, do you know if WalMart is hiring???


42 posted on 12/22/2012 2:09:31 PM PST by Delta Dawn (The whole truth.)
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I think people should be fired for any reason even stupid reasons, but it’s pretty stupid to get rid of a perfectly good employee when there are so many bad employees that cause all sorts of trouble. The next employee he gets will probably file a bogus lawsuit against him and cause him all sorts of headaches.


43 posted on 12/22/2012 2:15:15 PM PST by snowstorm12
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To: Clint N. Suhks

By the same logic, firing them specifically because they are fat and ugly should be legal too,, right?


44 posted on 12/22/2012 3:25:34 PM PST by wolficatZ (Hey blue states....Got Food?)
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To: Jack Hammer
Just too darned good-looking.

I've had the same problem, many many times.

Merry Christmas!

FMCDH(BITS)

45 posted on 12/22/2012 4:16:31 PM PST by nothingnew (I fear for my Republic due to marxist influence in our government. Open eyes/see)
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To: Clint N. Suhks
I think I found her.

46 posted on 12/22/2012 4:36:21 PM PST by The people have spoken
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To: Revolting cat!

“The world didn’t end yesterday, it turned upside down.....”
You are RIGHT ! ! !
This is the same supreme court in Iowa that approved “same-sex-marriage” . . .
So be careful of which gender that might be “irresistible” . . .
Draw your own conclusions..........


47 posted on 12/22/2012 5:12:09 PM PST by cuspofcommonsense
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To: Clint N. Suhks
"I don't know... but I rinsed and spit like no tomorrow!"


48 posted on 12/22/2012 5:23:30 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: The people have spoken

So she’s hot. While exceedingly easy on the eyes, hot women are a dime a dozen in America. Why would his wife even worry, unless she doesn’t look as good as Nelson does?


49 posted on 12/22/2012 6:05:09 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Obama should change his campaign slogan to "Yes, we am!" Sounds as stupid as his administration is.)
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To: snowstorm12

I think the media attention from this will cost him other employees, as well as dental clients.

I have no problem with firing for any reason, so long as the employer does not then cry “foul” when more women are no longer eager to work for him when they research his name and background or when more women are no longer willing to have him for a dentist because of his foolish unwillingness to control his sexual urges in the workplace.

Choices have consequences; this particular dentist will experience a backlash.


50 posted on 12/22/2012 8:32:34 PM PST by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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