Fired for being a threat to the boss' marriage?
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Thread: Fired for being a threat to the boss' marriage?

  1. #1
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    Default Fired for being a threat to the boss' marriage?

    'Irresistible' worker fired in Iowa: 'I don't think it's fair' - CNN.com

    To summarize: The boss' wife demanded he fire a dental assistant because she posed a threat to their marriage. He did. She sued. Courts sided with him.

    The debate: Who is in the right? Would you consider it to be sexual harassment if she had made that claim?

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    Iowa is an employment at will state so the courts were in the right. I'm confused as to where there was sexual harassment?

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    At one point, Knight told Nelson that "if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing," the decision read.

    At another point, in response to an alleged comment Nelson made about the infrequency of her sex life, Knight responded: [T]hat's like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it."

    Nelson and Knight, both married with children, also exchanged text messages to each other outside of work. Neither objected to the texting.

    Nelson filed a lawsuit, arguing that Knight fired her because of her gender. She did not contend that he committed sexual harassment.
    Because he is the boss, she could have said she feared she would be terminated if she didn't go along with it or complained about the messages/comments prior to her firing.

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    I'm fairly ignorant on hiring/firing practices outside of Mass. and this floors me that she could be fired because of how he reacts to her. Like he just can't control it and it is her problem? What year is this?

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    Jessica, Mass is also an At Will Employment State.

    It doesn't really matter how bizarre the reason is so the Court had no way to find it unlawful.

    any hiring is presumed to be "at will"; that is, the employer is free to discharge individuals "for good cause, or bad cause, or no cause at all," and the employee is equally free to quit, strike, or otherwise cease work.[1]
    At-will employment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Aisha

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    I know that but I've never heard of people doing this kind of junk here. Like...it's not used or at least not in my circles. Probably because well I think it would be viewed as wrongful termination as I would have liked to have seen here.

    I know they said it wasn't wrongful because it wasn't based on her sex but I disagree. If she wasn't female he wouldn't have had the concern about been "turned on" (at least unless bisexual).
    Last edited by Jessica80; 12-23-2012 at 10:40 PM. Reason: Hit enter before done.

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    He doesn't have to give a reason to fire her in an "at will" situation. I would not want to own a business that once I hired someone, I could not then decide to fire them without having to justify myself to someone else.

    ~Bonita~

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    He doesn't have to give a reason to fire her in an "at will" situation. I would not want to own a business that once I hired someone, I could not then decide to fire them without having to justify myself to someone else.
    Even in "at will" situations, there are some reasons you can't fire an employee. You can't fire an employee solely because she is a woman. That's the reason she filed suit. She lost because the court didn't view it as due to being a woman.

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    Yeah I see the court's point I just don't completely agree.

    And yes, there are still reasons why you can't fire someone.

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    I actually think it's reasonable as long as he provides her with good references and even helps her get work. He's trying to save his marriage, and his attraction to her is obviously very strong. It's not her fault, but it's reality. The dental assistant/dentist relationship can be rather intimate, both personally and physically as they are both hovering over a patient in close quarters.

    If I were working that closely with someone I was that attracted to, I would find a way to change things so I wasn't working with him. Ten years is an awfully long time to figure it out, though, and the texting is clearly an issue, but if his attraction is that powerful then his first obligation is to his marriage, and it's not like he can quit his own practice.

    But the right thing to do is to give her glowing recommendations and help her find work.
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