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Boss sacks employee for being too sexy, Supreme Court backs him up
23 December 2012 01:06 PM
An American dentist took the remarkable decision to sack an employee because he found her "irresistible" and wanted to avoid a temptation that could wreck his marriage.
His act was last week supported by an all-male Iowa Supreme Court, who voted 7-0 to declare that James Knight acted lawfully in removing his co-worker, who had never flirted or behaved inappropriately towards her employer.
It was Knight, 53, who admitted he worried he might not be able to control his feelings. He complained that Melissa Nelson's tight clothing was distracting, and once told her that if his pants were bulging, it was a sign her clothes were too revealing.
He is also alleged to have commented that Nelson's infrequent sex life was akin to "having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it".
The Iowa Supreme Court upheld Knight's right to dismiss his innocent assistant - saying he acted not out of gender bias but because her continued employment threatened his marriage.
Slate commented that however irrational the decision seems ("Clearly, Nelson has fallen prey to the whims of a horndog boss"), yielding to an employer's bizarre predelictions - so long as they're not explicitly racist or sexist - comes with the territory of having a job.
Do you agree, was the court's decision justified? And have you seen anything similar in your own workplace?