THE Iowa Supreme Court has stood by its ruling a dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant because he found her too attractive.
Melissa Nelson, 33, worked for James Knight for a decade. However despite being a stellar employee she was fired in 2010 after Mr Knight, who is married, felt she was too attractive and he was worried he would have an affair.
Ms Nelson sued on the grounds of sex discrimination but the case was dismissed by the Iowa District Court, who ruled such firings do not count as illegal sex discrimination because they are motivated by feelings rather than gender.
Ms Nelson appealed the case, but the Supreme Court upheld the view that an employee “may be lawfully terminated simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction,” The New York Times reports.
Ms Nelson, who was two decades younger than Mr Knight, was replaced by another woman; Knight had an all-female staff.
It’s the second time the case has been considered, with the all-male court issuing their revised opinion last week after their earlier decision in December due nationwide criticism.
Nelson’s attorney, Paige Fiedler, had asked the court to reconsider in January, calling the decision a blow for gender and racial equity in the workplace.
She warned the opinion could allow bosses to legally fire dark-skinned blacks and replace them with light-skinned blacks or small-breasted workers in favour of big-breasted workers.
The court had only granted reconsiderations five times in the last decade.