Iowa Supreme Court: OK to fire 'irresistible' worker
7/17/2013 3:35:00 PM
Can a boss fire an employee he finds attractive because he and his wife, fairly or not, see her as a threat to their marriage?
Yes, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.
"The question we must answer is ... whether an employee who has not engaged in flirtatious conduct may be lawfully terminated simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction," Justice Edward M. Mansfield wrote for the all-male high court.
Such firings may not be fair, but they do not constitute unlawful discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, the decision read, siding with a lower court.
An attorney for Melissa Nelson, the fired employee, said the decision was wrong.
"We are appalled by the court's ruling and its failure to understand the nature of gender bias," said Paige Fiedler, the attorney. "For the seven men on the Iowa Supreme Court not to 'get it' is shocking and disheartening. It underscores the need for judges on the bench to be diverse in terms of their gender, race and life experiences."