Dismissed for being too ‘irresistible’….


This article caught my attention a few weeks ago in The Times, as it has caused quite a bit of controversy in the decision by the Iowa State Supreme Court.

I know that this particular incident happened in America but it is interesting nonetheless and potentially a notion as to what our courts could be facing down the line.

The Supreme Court found in favour of the dentist, who had dismissed a lady who had worked for him for 10 years, as she was deemed to be a threat to his marriage. 

Both the dentist and his wife, had on a number of occasions made comments about the lady’s clothing being too tight, as well as her alleged flirting. 

The lady’s legal argument was not one of harassment but of gender discrimination. However the Supreme Court rejected her argument and found in favour of the dentist, on the basis that his decision was made on a personal basis and not one of a sweeping gender discrimination. The Supreme Court also stated that he was not against women, and her replacement had been female. 

This is not the first time, a female’s body has been alleged to trigger improper distractions. In Chicago, a lawyer claimed that the assistant for the other party was too attractive and distracting the jury.

This quote from The Times sums this all up,”You can be fired for being consistently incompetent but can you be fired for being consistently attractive ? Yes, according to the Iowa State Supreme Court, if the attraction threatens a marriage.”

It would be great to know your thoughts on whether being too attractive in the work place leads for a lawful dismissal.

rebecca x

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