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Boss hit with sex discrimination for firing attractive employee

As a business owner in Las Vegas, being hit with a discrimination claim by a current or former employee can be a serious issue. This type of business litigation has the potential not only to cost you your reputation, but your entire business and livelihood as well.

A dentist in Iowa is currently going through a sex-discrimination lawsuit that has attracted national attention. The dentist let an employee go back in 2010 because she was reportedly too attractive to him. The employee, a dental hygienist who had worked at the dental office for 10 years, said the dentist told her husband that she was a threat to the dentist’s marriage. 

When the dentist’s wife found out that the hygienist and dentist would exchange text messages after work, she was evidently upset and told her husband to fire the hygienist.

The woman filed a sex-discrimination lawsuit. Last December the case went before the Iowa Supreme Court. The court ruled that the dentist’s actions were perfectly legal according to case law and that the dentist did not fire the hygienist because she was female, but because of his own personal feelings toward her, something that does not constitute sexual discrimination.

The state supreme court recently withdrew its ruling, and its top judges will review the decision and reconsider the discrimination lawsuit, something that rarely happens. The dentist’s lawyer is not worried, though. He feels that his client will still be cleared of sexual discrimination because the law, which is well-established across virtually all jurisdictions, has not changed.

Source: New York Daily News, “’Irresistible’ employee gets rare review from Iowa Supreme Court,” Deborah Hastings, June 28, 2013

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