Employees Can Be Fired for Being Too Sexy, says the Iowa Supreme Court

Although this blog’s focus is on California law, we could not pass up writing about this outrageous and terrible decision coming out of Iowa’s Supreme Court, which held in a 7-0 opinion that bosses in Iowa can fire female employees they find to be “irresistible” attractions.

In this case, a dental assistant sued the dentist for whom she worked after he fired her because he found her too attractive and worried he would initiate an affair with her.  The assistant filed a claim for wrongful termination and gender discrimination, arguing that she would not have been terminated but for her gender.  The dentist argued that she was fired not because she was a woman, but rather because he was concerned that their continued employment relationship threatened his marriage.  The trial court agreed and dismissed the plaintiff’s case, and the Supreme Court affirmed the ruling, holding that while the firing may be unfair, it was not unlawful, because it was motivated by “feelings and emotions” rather than gender discrimination.

More details about the case can be found here.


Bernstein & Friedland, P.C. is a boutique employment law firm in Los Angeles specializing in wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and unpaid wage and overtime matters.  Please visit our website at www.laemploymentcounsel.com to learn more about us.

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