By Joseph E Rathjen
Published By: WomanScope NewsMagazine
August 07, 2013
You’ve had the same job for ten-years, everything is going well, the boss seems happy with your work and all your co-workers have nothing but praise for you. Then, suddenly, you unexpectedly get called into the boss’s office. He tells you to sit down, then looks at you with a concerned look on his face and says, “I have some bad news for you. I have to let you go.”
You just stare back at him in disbelief and then say, “Why?”
He grins a bit, and then says, “Because you’re just too attractive for your job!”
Does this sound like something that could happen to you?
As discriminatory as it may sound, it has already happened to one woman in Idaho and has grabbed national attention. The fallout from that case due to an earlier, dismissed lawsuit by the Idaho State Supreme Court had caused it to be re-examined for a second time around. The result of that repeat ruling could very well turnout as a landmark decision of enormous magnitude affecting the working rights of women everywhere.
In “Nelson vs. Knight”, thirty-two-year-old, Melissa Nelson, a dental assistant, sued her boss, James Knight, for sexual discrimination claiming that Knight fired her for being “too pretty” and “too irresistible.” Knight agreed, and even though both parties insisted there was nothing sexual going on between them, Knight claimed that keeping Nelson employed any longer would have been a threat to his marriage.
The court ruled the first time, and then the second time around on July 12th, 2013, that Nelson’s firing was well within the boundaries of the law. In the judges’ revised opinion, they said that bosses can fire employees they see as threats to their marriages even if subordinates have not engaged in flirtatious or other inappropriate behavior. The court said such firings do not count as illegal sex discrimination because they are motivated by feelings, not gender.
Okay…so…what does that mean for you, the pretty and…um…too attractive woman in the office?
It means that no matter how good and productive your work is, your good looks could be a serious detriment to your career and job security. Just as you could be hired for being “attractive” looking, you can also be fired for the same reason.
This story reminds me of a sexy, gym teacher we had in our Junior High School days back in the early seventies. Carle was her name, and when she walked down the hallway by the girl’s gym, delusions of after-school sex romps in the boys locker room swept through our imaginations like a Category 5 hurricane brewing out in the open ocean. Eventually, Carle was fired also for the same reason, and much to all our miserable dismay.
Therefore, the next time you ladies wake up to go to work in the morning, you might want to give your work attire a second critique and ask yourself the question…
…is it making me look too sexy?
© Joseph E Rathjen – All Rights Reserved – 2013
- OK to Fire a Woman for Being too Attractive (jeannehannah.typepad.com)
- Iowa woman fired for being ‘irresistible,’ court says it’s legal (kdvr.com)
- Iowa Supreme Court OKs firing attractive people (maddowblog.msnbc.com)