Iowa’s Supreme Court earned a lot of respect when it ruled that same-sex marriage was legal and denying it was discriminatory. However, they have decided to balance themselves out with a completely baffling ruling: Your boss can fire you if he can’t stop thinking about how much he wants to bang you. No, seriously. From the ruling:
Can a male employer terminate a female employee because the employer’s wife, due to no fault of the employee, is concerned about the nature of the relationship between the employer and the employee? This is the question we are required to answer today. For the reasons stated herein, we ultimately conclude the conduct does not amount to unlawful sex discrimination in violation of the Iowa Civil Rights Act.
I just… what?
The details in the ruling are simply appalling:
Dr. [James H.] Knight complained to [Melissa] Nelson that her clothing was too tight and revealing and “distracting.”
Dr. Knight later testified that he made these statements to Nelson because “I don’t think it’s good for me to see her wearing things that accentuate her body.” Nelson denies that her clothing was tight or in any way inappropriate.
Dr. Knight acknowledges he once told Nelson that if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing. On another occasion, Dr. Knight texted Nelson saying the shirt she had worn that day was too tight. After Nelson responded that she did not think he was being fair, Dr. Knight replied that it was a good thing Nelson did not wear tight pants too because then he would get it coming and going.
In the meeting, Dr. Knight told [Nelson’s husband] Steve Nelson that Melissa Nelson had not done anything wrong or inappropriate and that she was the best dental assistant he ever had. However, Dr. Knight said he was worried he was getting too personally attached to her. Dr. Knight told Steve Nelson that nothing was going on but that he feared he would try to have an affair with her down the road if he did not fire her.
The court held from previous precedents that since favoritism in the workplace based on sexual relationships did not rise to sexual discrimination, then therefore, the opposite was also true. Melissa Nelson had not been discriminated against because of her gender, because Dr. Knight only ever hires women.
She was discriminated against because of her looks, which is apparently legal. More to the point, she was ogled by a lech who was afraid he was going to try to coerce her into an extramarital affair or be otherwise sexually inappropriate, which is apparently legal in Iowa.