IOWA CITY, Iowa (December 21, 2012)--The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday that a dentist did not commit gender discrimination when he fired an attractive female assistant he viewed as a threat to his marriage.
The court ruled that a boss can fire an employee he considers an "irresistible attraction," even if the employee has done nothing wrong.
The decision is the first in Iowa, but in line with rulings elsewhere.
Justices rejected a discrimination lawsuit filed by Melissa Nelson, who was fired by Fort Dodge dentist James Knight in 2010.
Nelson had worked in Knight's office for 10 years.
She and Knight eventually started texting outside work about personal matters, but Knight's wife, who also worked at the office, found out and demanded Nelson's firing.
Knight's lawyer said the court's decision is "in favor of family values."