James Knight, dentist can fire 'irresistible' employee, court rules
6:49 PM, Dec 21, 2012
7:42 PM, Dec 21, 2012
IOWA CITY (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court said a dentist did not commit sex discrimination when he fired an attractive female assistant he viewed as a threat to his marriage.
The court ruled Friday that a boss can fire an employee he considers an "irresistible attraction," even if the employee has done nothing wrong. The decision is the first in Iowa, but in line with rulings elsewhere.
Justices rejected a discrimination lawsuit filed by Melissa Nelson, who was fired by Fort Dodge dentist James Knight in 2010.
Nelson had worked in Knight's office for 10 years. She and Knight eventually started texting outside work about personal matters. Knight's wife, who also worked at the office, found out and demanded Nelson's firing.
Knight's lawyer said the court's decision is "in favor of family values."