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Bosses can legally fire employees they see as an 'irresistible attraction'

Started by Signora Pæsior, December 22, 2012, 12:47:22 AM

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Signora Pæsior

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/12/21/bosses-can-legally-fire-employees-they-see-as-an-irresistible-attraction-iowa-court/

QuoteA dentist acted legally when he fired an assistant that he found attractive simply because he and his wife viewed the woman as a threat to their marriage, the all-male Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The court ruled 7-0 that bosses can fire employees they see as an "irresistible attraction," even if the employees have not engaged in flirtatious behavior or otherwise done anything wrong. Such firings may be unfair, but they are not unlawful discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act because they are motivated by feelings and emotions, not gender, Justice Edward Mansfield wrote.

An attorney for Fort Dodge dentist James Knight said the decision, the first of its kind in Iowa, is a victory for family values because Knight fired Melissa Nelson in the interest of saving his marriage, not because she was a woman.

The rest of the article is even better.  :argh!:
Petrochemical Pheremone Buzzard of the Poisoned Water Hole

Richter

Quote from: Eater of Clowns on May 22, 2015, 03:00:53 AM
Anyone ever think about how Richter inhabits the same reality as you and just scream and scream and scream, but in a good way?   :lulz:

Friendly Neighborhood Mentat


Aidian

Quotebecause they are motivated by feelings and emotions, not gender

I...how is that better? I've caused a lot of feelings and emotions (mostly outrage and/or confusion, but still) in the workplace. Obvious gender discrimination aside, that's a terrible precedent to allow on its own merits. Does anyone have a rail we can borrow to provide a brief ride?
Slightly Diseased Pheromone Discharge of Saintly and Superhuman Proportions

The Good Reverend Roger

" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

"Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

Bu🤠ns

this article has to be fake...like it just when you think it can't get worse...IT FUCKING DOES!!!

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

Hm. I'm of mixed feelings on this. Before y'all jump me, let me explain.

In a larger business setting and you find that you're in an awkward relational or emotional situation with an employee, you kind of have to suck it up... but you also have a built-in support network of other coworkers and management. When you are a small business owner such as a dentist or, as in my own case as a small glass supply business, you are working alone with maybe one to five other employees present at a time.

I am a firm believer in small businesses (under, say, 50 employees) being able to let employees go for issues as trivial as personality clashes or sexual distraction. Working with a guy or chick you hate (or like too much) could make a huge difference in the bottom line... at that level, you're talking about YOUR business, YOUR ability to focus, in relation to your business success. You CAN'T get away from them in a small business that size. I let go of a guy who simply bugged the shit out of me. If I had been unable to let him go (we're still friends BTW) I would have gladly collapsed the whole business and sacked everyone in order to not work with him anymore.

This woman's argument that she couldn't have been let go if she had been a man is, in this context, flawed because it assumes that business owners are never attracted to men. She presumes that there is never a situation in a small business setting where a business owner could be attracted to a male employee to such an extent that it jeopardizes the well-being of the owner and therefore of the business. That's manifestly incorrect.

"I'm guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk," Charles Wick said. "It was very complicated."


Mesozoic Mister Nigel

Maybe Oregon is simply far ahead of its times, or Iowa far behind, but the distinction between employment practices of large companies and employment practices of small companies has been well established here for a long time.
"I'm guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk," Charles Wick said. "It was very complicated."


Scribbly

In the UK you have a period of 12 months in which you can be fired for any reason- or no reason at all. I believe part of the justification there is personality clashes, and really I don't see too much wrong with that.
I had an existential crisis and all I got was this stupid gender.

Phox

Quote from: M. Nigel Salt on December 22, 2012, 08:38:16 AM
Hm. I'm of mixed feelings on this. Before y'all jump me, let me explain.

In a larger business setting and you find that you're in an awkward relational or emotional situation with an employee, you kind of have to suck it up... but you also have a built-in support network of other coworkers and management. When you are a small business owner such as a dentist or, as in my own case as a small glass supply business, you are working alone with maybe one to five other employees present at a time.

I am a firm believer in small businesses (under, say, 50 employees) being able to let employees go for issues as trivial as personality clashes or sexual distraction. Working with a guy or chick you hate (or like too much) could make a huge difference in the bottom line... at that level, you're talking about YOUR business, YOUR ability to focus, in relation to your business success. You CAN'T get away from them in a small business that size. I let go of a guy who simply bugged the shit out of me. If I had been unable to let him go (we're still friends BTW) I would have gladly collapsed the whole business and sacked everyone in order to not work with him anymore.

This woman's argument that she couldn't have been let go if she had been a man is, in this context, flawed because it assumes that business owners are never attracted to men. She presumes that there is never a situation in a small business setting where a business owner could be attracted to a male employee to such an extent that it jeopardizes the well-being of the owner and therefore of the business. That's manifestly incorrect.
That, is a very good point, Nigel. I had the same thought regarding her argument, but I didn't consider it from the small business point of view.

AFK

Whether it is right or not, I don't know why the boss just doesn't make up some other reason, that has nothing to do with her gender, for firing the person. I'm assuming Iowa is an at-will employment state, which really makes it easy to fire people for just about any reason.
Cynicism is a blank check for failure.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

Quote from: Rev. What's-His-Name? on December 22, 2012, 01:17:20 PM
Whether it is right or not, I don't know why the boss just doesn't make up some other reason, that has nothing to do with her gender, for firing the person. I'm assuming Iowa is an at-will employment state, which really makes it easy to fire people for just about any reason.

It sounds like the employer decided to be honest with her about it, probably had an "it's not you, it's me, and I'll give you a good reference" talk with her.
"I'm guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk," Charles Wick said. "It was very complicated."


Anna Mae Bollocks

Because women are responsible for all the dicks in the world, even though most of them are attached to people we wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. Same way republitards are responsible for our privates.

Boundaries, anyone?

Didn't think so.

OK, since I can't effect a change, I intend to have fun with this.

I AM A QUEEN OF DICKS. What should my first edict be?
Scantily-Clad Inspector of Gigantic and Unnecessary Cashews, Texas Division

Signora Pæsior

Quote from: M. Nigel Salt on December 22, 2012, 08:38:16 AM
Hm. I'm of mixed feelings on this. Before y'all jump me, let me explain.

In a larger business setting and you find that you're in an awkward relational or emotional situation with an employee, you kind of have to suck it up... but you also have a built-in support network of other coworkers and management. When you are a small business owner such as a dentist or, as in my own case as a small glass supply business, you are working alone with maybe one to five other employees present at a time.

I am a firm believer in small businesses (under, say, 50 employees) being able to let employees go for issues as trivial as personality clashes or sexual distraction. Working with a guy or chick you hate (or like too much) could make a huge difference in the bottom line... at that level, you're talking about YOUR business, YOUR ability to focus, in relation to your business success. You CAN'T get away from them in a small business that size. I let go of a guy who simply bugged the shit out of me. If I had been unable to let him go (we're still friends BTW) I would have gladly collapsed the whole business and sacked everyone in order to not work with him anymore.

Yeah, I cannot fly with this one, sorry. Mostly because I have been the young girl (17) who was being sexually harassed by her boss (and when I finally worked up the courage to report him I was asked what I did to make him think his behaviour would be welcome, but that's a different story). I cannot get on board with the idea that because Person A finds Person B sexually attractive, a feeling that is not reciprocated, Person B should lose their job. Seriously, why should I be punished -- lost my freaking job -- because my boss has decided I'm fuckable?

I've worked in small businesses where I've been attracted to someone. I've also worked in small businesses with incompetent, bigoted assholes. I think it's harder with the personality clashes, and I do see your point there Nigel, although I think there should be a time limit on it. In this case, the woman had worked in this dental office for ten years, so I'm not sure how she suddenly became such a distraction that he had to let her go. But in cases where you're attracted to a coworker? You suck it the fuck up and move on. It is possible to maintain a professional working relationship with someone you want to drag into bed; I've done it more than once (and hell, Pæs and I work in the same office!)

Quote from: M. Nigel Salt on December 22, 2012, 08:38:16 AM
This woman's argument that she couldn't have been let go if she had been a man is, in this context, flawed because it assumes that business owners are never attracted to men. She presumes that there is never a situation in a small business setting where a business owner could be attracted to a male employee to such an extent that it jeopardizes the well-being of the owner and therefore of the business. That's manifestly incorrect.

Agreed, and that argument struck me as a little odd. I got what she was trying to say -- that it was a gender-based firing because her presumably heterosexual boss wouldn't have wanted to stick it to her if she'd been a man -- but the argument as she made it is flawed.
Petrochemical Pheremone Buzzard of the Poisoned Water Hole

Phox

Quote from: Signora Pæsior on December 22, 2012, 10:55:37 PM
Quote from: M. Nigel Salt on December 22, 2012, 08:38:16 AM
Hm. I'm of mixed feelings on this. Before y'all jump me, let me explain.

In a larger business setting and you find that you're in an awkward relational or emotional situation with an employee, you kind of have to suck it up... but you also have a built-in support network of other coworkers and management. When you are a small business owner such as a dentist or, as in my own case as a small glass supply business, you are working alone with maybe one to five other employees present at a time.

I am a firm believer in small businesses (under, say, 50 employees) being able to let employees go for issues as trivial as personality clashes or sexual distraction. Working with a guy or chick you hate (or like too much) could make a huge difference in the bottom line... at that level, you're talking about YOUR business, YOUR ability to focus, in relation to your business success. You CAN'T get away from them in a small business that size. I let go of a guy who simply bugged the shit out of me. If I had been unable to let him go (we're still friends BTW) I would have gladly collapsed the whole business and sacked everyone in order to not work with him anymore.

Yeah, I cannot fly with this one, sorry. Mostly because I have been the young girl (17) who was being sexually harassed by her boss (and when I finally worked up the courage to report him I was asked what I did to make him think his behaviour would be welcome, but that's a different story). I cannot get on board with the idea that because Person A finds Person B sexually attractive, a feeling that is not reciprocated, Person B should lose their job. Seriously, why should I be punished -- lost my freaking job -- because my boss has decided I'm fuckable?

I've worked in small businesses where I've been attracted to someone. I've also worked in small businesses with incompetent, bigoted assholes. I think it's harder with the personality clashes, and I do see your point there Nigel, although I think there should be a time limit on it. In this case, the woman had worked in this dental office for ten years, so I'm not sure how she suddenly became such a distraction that he had to let her go. But in cases where you're attracted to a coworker? You suck it the fuck up and move on. It is possible to maintain a professional working relationship with someone you want to drag into bed; I've done it more than once (and hell, Pæs and I work in the same office!)

Quote from: M. Nigel Salt on December 22, 2012, 08:38:16 AM
This woman's argument that she couldn't have been let go if she had been a man is, in this context, flawed because it assumes that business owners are never attracted to men. She presumes that there is never a situation in a small business setting where a business owner could be attracted to a male employee to such an extent that it jeopardizes the well-being of the owner and therefore of the business. That's manifestly incorrect.

Agreed, and that argument struck me as a little odd. I got what she was trying to say -- that it was a gender-based firing because her presumably heterosexual boss wouldn't have wanted to stick it to her if she'd been a man -- but the argument as she made it is flawed.
Here's the thing, though: It's perfectly possible for someone to A) grow bored with their marriage, B)find someone attractive whom they've spent ten years working with, and C) decide that after having such feelings for a long enough of period that it is affecting their productivity. It's not clear that there was any sort of sexual harassment going on before hand, and the woman claims that there was none. So, it's one of those things where, it's actually, I believe, perfectly acceptable. It SUCKS, but let's be honest here, if I was in a committed marriage, didn't want to fuck it up, and had the option of either not going into work for fear of lacking the self restraint necessary to maintain said professional relationship, or letting the person in question go, then Imma go with option B, sorry.

Maybe you, personally, can maintain that decorum. Not everyone can. Recognizing that and admitting it is not a fault. If the scenario had played out differently, and he spent the next five years making unwanted advances, and fired her anyway, which would be worse?