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WWoman fired for being too attractive. That's OK, court says

 
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Dec, 2012 12:46 pm
@ehBeth,
hey ehbeth, could you please link the stories you've found? I'd be interested reading them.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Dec, 2012 04:29 pm
@chai2,
Quote:
Some people seem to think it's just so easy to walk in and get unemployment benefits, it's not, and there's many ways to be denied.


This is simply untrue. It really bothers me when people make such bogus claims that are so easy to debunk. It took a few minutes to figure out what the law really says in Iowa (where this case took place).

In Iowa there is one way to deny unemployment insurance to someone who has been fired. That is to show misconduct. The burden of proof is with the employer. This means that the employer must present evidence of misconduct to a judge before benefits can be offered. And, even then the employee can appeal.

The description of Misconduct is spelled out.

Quote:

“Misconduct” is defined as a deliberate act or omission by a worker which constitutes a material breach of the duties and obligations arising out of such worker’s contract of employment. Misconduct as the term is used in the disqualification provision as being limited to conduct evincing such willful or wanton disregard of an employer’s interest as is found in deliberate violation or disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of employees, or in carelessness or negligence of such degree of recurrence as to manifest equal culpability, wrongful intent or evil design, or to show an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer’s interests or of the employee’s duties and obligations to the employer. On the other hand mere inefficiency, unsatisfactory conduct, failure in good performance as the result of inability or incapacity, inadvertencies or ordinary negligence in isolated instances, or good faith errors in judgment or discretion are not to be deemed misconduct within the meaning of the statute.


https://www.legis.iowa.gov/DOCS/ACO/GNAC/iacpdf%283-5-03%29/iac/871iac/87124/87124pp4.pdf

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Dec, 2012 04:56 pm
@ehBeth,
I wore lab coats for many years as did my superiors and underlings. We didn't have trouble doing very intricate stuff wearing lab coats.

It's true I wore short skirts and not always the lab coat. We were a happy group, also playing chess on down time or arguing social issues. We'd probably all be fired now, but I don't know now, do I?
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Dec, 2012 05:11 pm
@ehBeth,
I just read the ruling and the one article. It says in the ruling she didn't respond to his orgasm text and didn't tell him to stop.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Dec, 2012 05:23 pm
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

I just read the ruling and the one article. It says in the ruling she didn't respond to his orgasm text and didn't tell him to stop.

in sexual harassment the speaker has to have reason to think that his comments are unwanted...those who participate in the banter or who raise no objection to it dont have a claim.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Tue 25 Dec, 2012 05:48 pm
@chai2,
Mame, I addressed that in 2 previous posts, below. I know you read at least one of them, since you responded to it.

Yes, she should have said something, she really should have. But she didn't. It's just not that easy sometimes to say that to someone, depending on the exact situation.

For what it's worth, I'm dealing with something like this right now on my new job. Not sexual, and it's not about someone I'm a direct report to. I know it will come to a head, and I'll have to request a meeting with at least one witness present. Things just need to be handled carefully, and I'm documenting my butt off day to day, because I really like my job.

Again, for what it's worth, she could have lied and said she did tell him she didn't appreciate his comments, and to stop. But then it would have been a he said/she said. Maybe she could have had a conversation in front of someone else....like who, his wife? The one who ordered her fired? I admire her that she didn't stoop to lying.

What if, hypothetically, she did say something to him, and in court he said, "she never did."
What if she did meet with him and the wife, documented the meeting, asked them to sign acknowledging all this, and they refused?
How far is a person expected to go to prove they told someone else to stop something? If she had the forethought to call a meeting, she would have to have yet another party around to witness, like her husband, or anyone else.

Sometimes you work with, or just know someone who sometimes comes out with weird, off color, or strange stuff, and at that moment you're too busy thinking about what you're doing to stop everything and have that conversation, and later on it doesn't seem worth it. Or 99% of the time the person is great and you have an overall super relationship, and you write off some weird comment as them being socially inept in some areas. Well, obviously in this case it would have been worth it, there's no denying that. However, if anyone always said to someone else everything about that person that was bothering, they'd pretty much be considered a pain in the ass, and would have to eat their lunch all by themselves.

Of course these are all "what ifs" but that's what makes up life, not "person A says xyz, and you must always respond with "lmnop". Sometimes you just laugh uncomfortably, and move on because there's too much other static going on.

It's just not, in the real world where there are all sorts on intricacies in relationships, that easy or feasible to just tell someone, "stop" and expect that to be the end of it, solved, simple as that.


chai2 wrote:

From what is presented, which is all we can know, the sexual comments were all on the part of the employer.

It's unfortunate Ms. Nelson did not immediately say she was uncomfortable with him, and in a perfect world she would have. She honestly should have told him, even once she was uncomfortable, and it would have made all the difference in the world to this case.

I don't see anything anywhere that indicates anything was mutual.

In a perfectly rational world, we would all constantly be on our toes, ready to tell someone when they were stepping over a boundary. We would always be on the ready alert when someone makes a comment, regardless of whatever else we were doing/thinking at that moment.

She was wrong for not telling him upfront to stop. No excuse for that. However, I know that people simply don't do that every time they feel offended. In fact, in normal interactions, it's wise not to jump on every thing that's said to us that we don't agree with.

It's nice to think that someone would immediately say "don't say that", it's another thing living in the real world working side by side with someone that might be in her mind maybe weird and inappropriate, but no real danger.

She may have been apprehensive about saying something, not wanting to offend, afraid for her job, thinking it might just stir the pot more, that it would get the wife involved (too late), any number of reasons.
Of course there's no evidence for this, but neither is there any information available from here that indicates she did anything to encourage him with words/actions of her own.

If I'm missing something somewhere that indicates she encouraged him, or contributed to inappropriate conversations, please point it out.

He was her employer, in a position of power.



chai2 wrote:


You know, you work with a group of people for 10 years, you have a type of friendship going on, maybe only a professional friendship, but you don't go 10 years without some personal dealings with others.
It's difficult to say to someone "stop that" when you get along famously 99% of the time, and there are times when you both have had a laugh over something that an outsider would scratch their head over.

The fact that this is a small business, and the offending person is your boss, makes it even more difficult for the employee. There isn't an HR dept to go to, or a supervisor. There's no one but the person who's your boss, and they could be the problem.

It's easy to say "quit, find another job" Not so easy to find another job when you're asked why you left.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Dec, 2012 05:51 pm
@chai2,
When you have this conversation, keep in mind that you might be putting your witness in a difficult position. On the other hand, it depends on the outlook of the witness, doesn't it?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Dec, 2012 05:54 pm
@chai2,
I see Chai's point (or one of them). People do behave differently over time. And sometimes things come to a head, like a pimple. And sometimes the pimple-er may act first.

I'm not talking legality, just commenting.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Tue 25 Dec, 2012 06:10 pm
@roger,
Since I don't work for a small business, my witness would be my supervisor, or above.
In my case, I simply will someone else to hear the words, not agree or disagree. I don't want the other party to be able to say "that conversation never happened" or indicate I said less, or more, than I did.

Don't worry roger, but thanks for your input.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Dec, 2012 06:22 pm
@chai2,
I think it was in Business Insider or something with a similar title. Sorry I wasn't back earlier - my cold meds keep knocking me out.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Tue 25 Dec, 2012 11:44 pm
After reading through this thread, I lost track of all the things written here that are just plain wrong. Suffice it to say that most of you don't know what you're talking about.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 25 Dec, 2012 11:45 pm
@joefromchicago,
This thread is mostly fiction Joe. Don't worry about it, just enjoy it for what it is.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Thu 27 Dec, 2012 10:24 pm
@joefromchicago,
True, but then you seldom do so what's your complaint?
0 Replies
 
sexdoc601
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 28 Dec, 2012 08:12 pm
Wow! I think that she should have been fired! It's best for both parties. If she that good, go and get another job working with another Dr.
0 Replies
 
Lola
 
  4  
Reply Fri 28 Dec, 2012 10:50 pm
@chai2,
I agree Chai2. The biggest threat to Dr. Knight's marriage is Dr. Knight. He had to have his pastor for support. Really.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jun, 2013 08:51 am
Interesting new development in this case (from the ABA Journal):

Quote:
The Iowa Supreme Court has withdrawn a controversial opinion that found a dental assistant did not suffer unlawful sex discrimination when her boss fired her because he considered her an irresistible attraction.

The decision tossing the case by dental assistant Melissa Nelson had provoked outrage among columnists. The blog On Brief reports that the court’s chief justice announced on Monday that the case was being withdrawn and would be resubmitted today without oral argument. A new decision could come as early as this Friday.

"That’s an extraordinary move," the blog says, "which comes six months after the court received national attention for ruling that a male employer does not commit gender discrimination if he fires a female employee at the request of a jealous wife."
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jun, 2013 04:26 pm
Finally.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jun, 2013 11:12 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:
What do you think?
It pays to be a dog ?
Is that a felicitous characterization ?
MY dogs were all very good looking,
as are my guns.



Note: I support laissez faire capitalism.
0 Replies
 
 

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