chai2
 
Reply Sat 22 Dec, 2012 06:25 pm
http://news.yahoo.com/court-irresistible-workers-fired-203924415--abc-news-topstories.html

I cannot believe this.

An Iowa dentist was within his legal rights when he fired a longtime employee he found to be "irresistible" and a threat to his marriage, the State Supreme Court unanimously ruled.
The seven justices, all male, affirmed on Friday a lower court's decision in favor of Dr. James Knight, who terminated Melissa Nelson after employing her for 10 and a half years as a dental assistant.
"We do think the Iowa Supreme Court got it completely right," said Stuart Cochrane, an attorney for James Knight. "Our position has always been Mrs. Nelson was never terminated because of her gender, she was terminated because of concerns her behavior was not appropriate in the workplace. She's an attractive lady. Dr. Knight found her behavior and dress to be inappropriate."
The two never had a sexual relationship or sought one, according to court documents, however in the final year and a half of Nelson's employment, Knight began to make comments about her clothing being too tight or distracting.
"Dr. Knight acknowledges he once told Nelson that if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing," the justices wrote.
Six months before Nelson was fired, she and her boss began exchanging text messages about work and personal matters, such as updates about each of their children's activities, the justices wrote.
The messages were mostly mundane, but Nelson recalled one text she received from her boss asking "how often she experienced an orgasm."
Nelson did not respond to the text and never indicated that she was uncomfortable with Knight's question, according to court documents.
Soon after, Knight's wife, Jeanne, who also works at the practice, found out about the text messaging and ordered her husband to fire Nelson.
The couple consulted with a senior pastor at their church and he agreed that Nelson should be terminated in order to protect their marriage, Cochrane said.
On Jan. 4, 2010, Nelson was summoned to a meeting with Knight while a pastor was present. Knight then read from a prepared statement telling Nelson she was fired.
"Dr. Knight felt like for the best interest of his marriage and the best interest of hers to end their employment relationship," Cochrane said.
Knight acknowledged in court documents that Nelson was good at her job and she, in turn, said she was generally treated with respect.
When Nelson's husband tried to reason with Knight, the dentist told him he "feared he would have an affair with her down the road if he did not fire her."
Paige Fiedler, Nelson's attorney, said in a statement to ABC News affiliate KCRG that she was "appalled" by the ruling.
"We are appalled by the Court's ruling and its failure to understand the nature of gender bias.," she wrote.
"Although people act for a variety of reasons, it is very common for women to be targeted for discrimination because of their sexual attractiveness or supposed lack of sexual attractiveness. That is discrimination based on sex," Fiedler wrote. "Nearly every woman in Iowa understands this because we have experienced it for ourselves."
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Dec, 2012 06:33 pm
@chai2,
That seems like a reasonable ruling to me. The court found that "her behavior and dress was inappropriate" for the workplace. The ruling was that this is an acceptable reason for termination.
0 Replies
 
nothingtodo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Dec, 2012 06:38 pm
@chai2,
It is unfortunate.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Dec, 2012 06:40 pm
@chai2,
Iowa.

Well, of course I don't know that these folks being in Iowa is to blame.

This almost makes me understand my hated whatsisname, the author who made fun of Iowa having been there all of one day (now there is a putz, Bill Bryson).

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sat 22 Dec, 2012 06:41 pm
@chai2,
Look at this from the wife's perspective. She saw this assistant as a threat to their marriage. It sounds likes this was a small family business. How would you suggest that they resolve this?
chai2
 
  4  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 08:38 am
@maxdancona,
Not by ruining someone elses livelihood. Not when that person has done nothing to initiate a physical or emotionally romantic relationship with the other.

I wonder if this wife has a history of jealousy, and the husband a history of blaming others for his inability to control himself.

If this person indeed dressed inappropriately in the workplace, was there verbal, written warnings?

Based on the info provided in this story, I'd be appealing this decision.

djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 08:42 am
@chai2,
as i stated on the other thread

he should have fired the wife





out of a cannon





into the sun
chai2
 
  4  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 09:02 am
@djjd62,
oh dj, sorry, I didn't realize there was another thread.

can you link me?



Oh btw, I don't consider telling someone "if you see my pants bulging" a verbal warning that her clothes are inappropriate, but rather sexual harassment.

It's unfortunate she didn't indicate at that moment THAT was inappropriate of him to say that.


djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 09:08 am
@chai2,
http://able2know.org/topic/204386-1
0 Replies
 
IRFRANK
 
  3  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 09:15 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Look at this from the wife's perspective. She saw this assistant as a threat to their marriage. It sounds likes this was a small family business. How would you suggest that they resolve this?


A reasonable dress code communicated to all employees, and the Dr. learning how to control his urges.

I would find it reasonable for them to let her go after a couple weeks, but after years? I hope the severance package was lucrative.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 09:19 am
@chai2,
Here is a link to the other thread on this correct, and unanimous, summary judgement. This thread seems to be a little heavy on the outrage and a little light on reason. The other thread might be a better place for reasoned discussion on the actual facts and the law.

http://able2know.org/topic/204386-1

ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 09:59 am
@maxdancona,
Outrage seems reasonable to several of us in these threads.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 10:03 am
@ossobuco,
Outrage to his behavior is perhaps warranted (although as I have pointed out the innocent woman story that seems to be a popular view doesn't make sense).

But anyway the legal decision is solid. I don't see how given the law and the facts the judges could have rules in any other way.

The issue I have is that the outrage is ignoring the law and the facts of the case. The story that people desperately want to be outraged about does not match with the facts or with basic logic. Doesn't it bother you a little that the quotes that are riling up people are being fed to the press by the losing side's attorneys?

Come on. Isn't referring to these judges as "The Taliban" just a little bit excessive?

But maybe that is just the nature of outrage.
Kolyo
 
  3  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 04:06 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

But anyway the legal decision is solid. I don't see how given the law and the facts the judges could have rules in any other way.


You may have a point there. This case was like a fly ball that dropped between two outfielders named "gender discrimination" and "sexual harassment", because they didn't know who ought to field it.

But if a horrible mess like what the dental assistant has had to sort through can't get addressed under the current civil code, we should talk about reforming the civil code, shouldn't we?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2012 04:18 pm
@Kolyo,
As I pointed out in the other thread. We don't know what really happened between this dentist and his assistant. The idea that she was an innocent victim in this is hard for me to believe. Most of the stuff in the rants you find about this case is made up and clearly false.

We have strong laws in the US against sexual harassment. If she felt harassed it would have been easy for her to get protection. That isn't what is being claimed at all.

The issue is that this outrage is not based on reality. It is based on information given to the press by the lawyers of the losing side. The lawyers obviously want to make a big deal about this. The press obviously wants a salacious story, and evidently there are some people who want to be outraged.

I don't see this as a mess at all. The judges did their job. The woman had her day in court. The system worked as designed. Life goes on.

I don't see the need for the outrage.



Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Thu 27 Dec, 2012 10:32 pm
@maxdancona,
You've made your point (and a good one it has been) repeatedly and yet it is having virtually no effect on the nonsense being posted about the incident and the legal case.

Should tell you something, no?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Dec, 2012 10:16 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Because of this topic, and a couple of others like it, I have been thinking about the power of what I think I am going to call "The Grand Narrative". The narrative can be often true, as in this case the problem of sexual harassment is a real one.

But once people hop onto the grand narrative, it is difficult for them to question it to the point that facts that clearly contradict this particular case are ignored and new facts are invented all in support of the narrative that people already sincerely believe.

Don't worry Finn. Conservatives do this quite a bit too.

I have been formulating a few ideas for a separate thread on the idea of the "Grand Narrative".

Lola
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Dec, 2012 10:56 pm
@maxdancona,
As I said on the other thread. The biggest threat to Dr. Knight's marriage is Dr. Knight. What a wimp. He had to have his pastor there when he fired his otherwise good employee of how many years? Ridiculous.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Dec, 2012 07:06 am
@Lola,
I don't disagree with this. Dr. Knight is not a good person and what he did is ridiculous.
0 Replies
 
 

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