Melissa Nelson was fired from her job as a dental assistant after her boss, Fort Dodge dentist James Knight, claimed she was an ‘irresistible attraction’ and the all-male Iowa Supreme Court upheld the termination.
“I don’t think this is fair. I don’t think this is right,” Nelson, a happily married mother, told CNN.
Nelson worked for Knight for 10 years when, according to her defense in the case, the dentist began texting her that her clothes were too tight.
He also allegedly complained to her about his “infrequent” sex with his wife and commented that seeing Nelson in the office was “like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it,” the AP reports.
Knight’s wife, who also worked at her husband’s office, demanded Nelson be fired and the dentist did just that. His attorney argued that the court got it right; that a boss has the right to honor the wishes of a family member without committing discrimination.
“These judges sent a message to Iowa women that they don’t think men can be held responsible for their sexual desires and that Iowa women are the ones who have to monitor and control their bosses’ sexual desires,” Nelson attorney Paige Fielder said of the decision. “If they get out of hand, then the women can be legally fired for it.”