Court Upholds Woman's Firing for 'Irresistible' Looks

Iowa Supreme Court rules in favor of boss who fired employee for being too attractive.
2:39 | 12/23/12

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Transcript for Court Upholds Woman's Firing for 'Irresistible' Looks
LEARN FROM MY STORY. Now to the story of a dental assistant in iowa whose boss fired her because she was too attractive. That's right. There were no accusations of dheeting or flirting. -- Cheating. good. And the state's highest court has now sided with the boss. Here's abc's tanya rivero. Reporter: Melissa nelson spent ten happy years working as a dental assistant, until she was fired because her boss said she was too tempting and a threat to his marriage. On friday, the all-male, iowa supreme court unanimously agreed -- dentist james knight was justified when he fired an employee he saw as an irresistible attraction. I'm devastated. I really am. There's not an appeal. The state is as far as we can go. Reporter: The decision is sparking much controversy. Some employment attorneys are calling it a dangerous throwback. I wouldn't have been surprised if it was a decision written in 1970 by the characters of "mad men." Reporter: T 32-year-old married mother of two says she saw her employer as a father figure and was shocked when dr. Knight admits, even though she was great at her job, he couldn't be trusted around her. You know, after working so many years side by side, i didn't have any idea that that would have crossed his mind. Reporter: According to court documents, knight referenced nelson's infrequent sex life, saying that's like having a lamborghini in the garage and never driving it. And when the doctor's wife discovered him sending text messages to his assistant, it was his wife who demanded she be fired. Nelson sued for gender discrimination. I think the women in iowa should probably start going to work in burkas for fear that their boss might find them sexually attractive and terminate them. Reporter: Dr. Knight's lawyer gave abc news this statement -- "nelson was not terminated because of her gender, but to preserve the best interests of his marriage." It's sending a message that men can do whatever they want in the workforce. Nelson's lawyer tells me they both received a huge outpouring of support with some even offering to pay legal costs. But after three long years of fighting, n be no more appeals, since nelson alleged a violation of state law, dan, and not federal. It bears repeating, all the judges, male. A unanimous decision. Interesting, thank you.

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