The all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled today that 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 unanimous court held that 53 year-old dentist James Knight did not discriminate against 32 year-old Melissa Nelson, his exemplary employee of 10 years, when he fired her because he viewed her as an “irresistible attraction,” even though she did not engage in flirtatious behavior or had otherwise done anything wrong.
Though Knight admitted that he feared he would pursue a relationship with Nelson, despite the fact that both were married with children, if she continued working for him, the Court ruled that Knight’s infatuation with Nelson broke no part of the Iowa Civil Rights Act and did not constitute discrimination. This after Knight’s wife found that Mr. Knight had been carrying on conversations with Nelson via text messages.
Read the opinion here.
Via the Chicago Sun-Times.