Iowa Supreme Court Rules You Can Be Fired for Being Too Attractive

Dentist Dr. James Knight fired his dental assistant since his wife (who also works at his dentist practice) found her to be a threat to their marriage. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that he did so legally, voting 7-0 that bosses “can fire employees they see as an 'irresistible attraction.'"

What this guy’s wife needs to learn is that attractive women are everywhere. You might have gotten rid of that one for now, but there are plenty of other women out there who you will feel insecure around. The best things she can do to “preserve her marriage” is hit the gym, get some new clothes, get her hair done, and whatever else it takes for her to not feel so threatened.

Not only that, but she should talk to her husband about the ways he talks to his female employees. According to Newsy, the dentist told his “irresistibly attractive” dental assistant that “if his pants were bulging that was a sign her clothes were too revealing.” This is the part that enrages me. How is she to blame for the fact that he can’t control himself? Also, the way he’s speaking to her sounds a lot like sexual harassment. But of course, these remarks are “alleged.”

Before people get all hot and bothered over what should be defined as sexual harassment, allow me to point out that the professional way to handle an employee who is dressing inappropriately would be to pull her aside and tell her so.

Knight’s attorney Stuart Cochrane claims that Knight is a “very religious and moral individual” and believed that firing his attractive assistant would be “best for all parties.” Since when is losing one’s job best for that party? And if Knight’s lawyer knows how religious and moral he is, then surely Knight’s wife must know that as well. If that is the case, then she shouldn’t need to worry that adultery could be taking place, right? Seeing as Knight is such a religious man and all, getting his female dental assistant fired shouldn’t have been necessary.

Did I mention that the Iowa Supreme Court is all male?

I think this story begs the question: What makes someone “irresistibly attractive” as defined by the Iowa Supreme Court? If another guy wants his employee fired because wife is insecure about her, will they just pass her picture around the court and judge whether or not she’s attractive enough to be fired? I can see it now: “Wow! She’s a hottie! You poor bastard, surely you can’t stay committed to your wife with this one hangin’ around. The court backs you up!”

The court’s job shouldn’t be to prevent adultery. If Dr. Knight’s pants were bulging, he should have gone to find his wife. 

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Eboni Boykin

Eboni Boykin is an undergraduate at Columbia University, studying Religion and Gender Studies. She is interested in race and gender in the media.

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