Fired for Being Irresistible

Dental Assistant FiredThere is an interesting case that just got adjudicated in Iowa in which a dentist fired his assistant terminating a ten-year working relationship. It’s interesting for a number of reasons although I find one facet of the case most fascinating of all. I’ll review the situation quickly so you don’t have to read the article and then get into what I think about the case.

A dentist engaged in some mild flirting and exchanged a few sexy text messages with his assistant who is apparently an attractive women. The dentist is a man. The man’s wife found the text messages and demanded the dentist fire his assistant. According to the information I read the assistant didn’t engage the dentist back with flirty behavior but was not particularly offended or upset by his behavior. Eventually the dentist fired the assistant and she brought suit.

What I find most interesting about the case is that both sides are essentially lying about their motivation for the firing in order to win their case. The dentist claims he fired her for inappropriate behavior while she claims she was illegally fired in a gender discrimination case. The real reason the assistant was fired was because the wife of the dentist didn’t trust his husband to behave himself around the assistant. She wasn’t fired either for behaving inappropriately or for being a woman. She was fired because the wife of the dentist didn’t want her around her husband. How does a court of law deal with that?

Depending on the legal termination laws of a state, and I’m not familiar with Iowa’s laws, a person can be fired for just about anything as long as it doesn’t amount to discrimination. In this case the woman wasn’t discriminated against because of her sex. She also wasn’t fired for cause. The reality of the situation is not without precedent. How many of my female readers are completely comfortable with their husband’s very attractive co-worker or are comfortable hiring a beautiful young nanny? Conversely how many of my male readers are happy with an attractive trainer working closely with their wife?

I’d have to hear from an employment attorney in Iowa to really decide if this case was decided properly or not. If you are allowed to fire someone for anything other than discrimination then the judges decided fairly. However, if you have to prove cause to fire in Iowa then I’d say the judges were incorrect. In either case I can say I think the firing was unjustified and the woman unfairly, if not illegally, lost her job.

Shame on the wife for insisting on firing a competent employee who apparently had no sexual interest in her husband. We all must deal with temptation in life. Removing it is sometimes the right strategy but I’m of the opinion that when it’s either resist temptation or cause real and serious harm to another, it’s up to you to resist temptation. It’s not like keeping ice cream sandwiches out of your refrigerator. That helps me stay thin and doesn’t hurt anyone.

What do you think?

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist
Current Release: The Sword of Water
Next Release: The Spear of the Hunt

2 thoughts on “Fired for Being Irresistible

  1. Hmmm. The dentist is a jerk. The wife is upset with the wrong person, and the tech got the short end of the stick. Hopefully the dentist gets the tech another job with one of his fellow dentists. The wife may need to take a second look at her darling hubby.

    • That would have been a much better solution, Alex. Get her a job with a fellow dentist! Well done. I’d guess this happened some time ago as it’s only getting settled now. So, that chance is probably gone but it’s an excellent idea.

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