Is it okay to fire an employee for being too pretty?

The all-male Iowa Supreme Court said Friday that it would reconsider its 2012 ruling 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.

Melissa Nelson, who had sued the dentist for gender discrimination,  had fought against the court’s decision.

"Not only does this breathe new life into her court case, it eliminates what many of us believed was a harmful legal and misguided precedent," her lawyer told ABC News.

A Des Moines lawyer with no role in the case told the network that the justices will likely issue a new opinion.

"There really is no reason to grant rehearing six months after the decision was made unless someone is seriously considering changing their mind," Ryan Koopmans, the lawyer, told ABC News. "I think we'll definitely see at least one opinion in favor of Melissa, the question is whether it is the majority opinion or dissenting opinion." (read more)

Tags: attraction, employment, sexual

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True that 'can' ≠ 'should'. And now she's making sure he pays a price. This is going to cost him some of his practice even before he pays out in the civil suit that, no doubt, is coming. Simply because he got a pass over the Federal suit doesn't in any way preclude her suing him in civil court under tort law.

It had to be America, didn't it?

You don't have the right to fire someone because they're attractive. You do have the right, however, to change their dress code to prevent them from being attractive at work. Do the honorable thing and talk to the person who poses the supposed threat and work it out like adults.

I beg to differ. In many, perhaps most states, one has the right to hire and fire "at will," which means for no particular reason other than you want to. Remember, businesses don't exist for the benefit of their employees, they exist for the benefit of their owners.

Exceptions include firing based on sex, which would be shown by a history of preferring male candidatrs, or race, which would be shown by a history of overlooking qualified minority members in favor of white candidates.

I take it that this dentist, if anything, has preferred female candidates and Melissa's replacement is also female.

There may be a civil case where the standard is fairly low, but I think the dentist is off the hook for now. But in any case, his right to fire her is not in question.

RE: "You do have the right, however, to change their dress code to prevent them from being attractive at work." - yeah, that'd work:

Do the honorable thing and talk to the person who poses the supposed threat and work it out like adults.

You're forgetting the elephant in the room: the dentist's wife.

What about the woman who was fired in the US for refusing to have her twat waxed in front of her colleagues, cannot wait to see the judgement in that case !

Whoa!, I'm not familiar with that one. Looked it up. She worked in a parlor that does Brazilian waxings which adds a dimension of ambiguity to it, in the way that a parlor specializing in hair coloration might require employees to allow their hair to be colored or a tattoo parlor might want employees to be willing to be tattooed. However, her role was as an esthetician, which usually means doing nails and facials and other things where she could keep her clothes on. I think she has a case.

"esthetician"

Wow we are really getting down to nat's as-es....

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