Dental assistant Melissa Nelson was fired by her boss of 10 years because he felt her presence was a threat to his marriage.
Horndog bosses in Iowa have a new tool to save their marriages — they can fire employees who are too hot for the workplace.
The state’s all-male Supreme Court ruled 7-0 Friday that an Iowa City dentist legally canned his female assistant because she was “irresistibly attractive” and a threat to his marriage.
The bombshell ruling came after Melissa Nelson sued her boss of 10 years, Dr. James Knight, for discrimination.
The married mother claims she was fired in January 2010 after Knight’s wife became jealous of the pair’s relationship, which included harmless text messages between them outside of work.
“I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think it’s right,” Nelson said on CNN Saturday night. The 32-year-old also said she was stunned to be fired.
“I worked hard, enjoyed my job, and one day it just came to a screeching halt.”
Knight, 53, admitted Nelson was a great worker, but he complained her tight clothing was too much of a distraction.
He even once told Nelson that if his pants were bulging, she would know her outfits were too revealing, the lawsuit said. And he quipped about her irregular sex life, saying it was “like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it.”
The dentist consulted with a local pastor, terminated Nelson and gave her one month’s severance. Knight later admitted to Nelson’s husband that he feared he would eventually try to start an affair.
“These judges sent a message to Iowa women that they don’t think men can be held responsible for their sexual desires,” Nelson’s attorney, Paige Fiedler, told the Associated Press. “If (the bosses) get out of hand, then the women can be legally fired for it.”
Nelson said she wouldn’t have been fired if she were a man. In the Saturday interview, she said her work attire was hardly revealing.
“I wore a long-sleeve or short-sleeve T-shirt and I wore scrubs,” Nelson said, adding that she’s “happily married.”
After the ruling from one of but a few testosterone-only panels in the nation, Justice Edward Mansfield wrote that allowing the suit would have stretched the definition of gender discrimination.
Knight’s lawyer, Stuart Cochrane, said the ruling is a home-run for family values.
“While there was really no fault on the part of Mrs. Nelson, it was just as clear the decision to terminate her was not related to the fact that she was a woman,” he told the AP. “The motives behind Dr. Knight terminating Mrs. Nelson were quite clear: He did so to preserve his marriage.”