The ruling about the dental assistant, Melissa Nelson being fired for being too attractive is a bad one. She was fired because the dentist’s wife was jealous. There was no affair going on.
I have worked in many offices as a temporary hygienist, front desk person and permanently as a hygienist in others. In many offices the dentist is having an affair or has had an affair with one or more members of the office staff. Everyone knows it and many folks around town know it is going on too, except of course the wife doesn’t know. It is an environment where usually one male works with all females. That has changed over the many years I have been in dentistry and more males in urban areas are working in roles that were traditionally female and there are more female dentists now.
What if this dentist had been a lesbian and fired her for the same reason? The court case would have been way different. I can imagine what that would have gone like.
“Judge I am a lesbian and this assistant is making me aroused and I am thinking about cheating on my wife. I told my pastor at the Metropolitan Gay Church about it and she said to fire her to prevent me from cheating on my wife and so I can remain true to God and to the vows of our marriage.”
The judge would probably start laughing about the lunacy of it and the case would have gone a totally different way. That is what should have happened in this case too. That is why it is sexual discrimination.
On the other hand, if Melissa Nelson was wearing inappropriate clothing to the office that would have been cause for dismissal in my opinion. As a dental professional you need to dress a certain way and that is expected of you in this setting. Nurses wear scrubs, and employees are even given a uniform to wear at places like McDonald’s and Burger King. Dr. Knight should have been able to provide her with a uniform and a list of dress expectations that she would have signed when she started working there. If that never happened she was pretty much free to dress as state law allows. That should have been the judge’s ruling.
Maybe dentists should be made by law to provide staff with uniforms from now on because of this case. I don’t mean a Burka or Hijaab to cover her from head to toe like they do in the Islamic countries. Muslim men use similar excuses as was used by Dr. Knight. Seeing a woman’s face may arouse Muslim men according to the excuses I have heard for why women need to be covered. The countries going by Islamic law rule in the man’s favor and often find it is the woman’s fault if she is raped for exposing her face or legs and she is charged with adultary. Yeah that wouldn’t fly here. Nelson’s case should have been given the same treatment in America as a case like a Muslim man claiming here in the states that he raped a woman because she showed her face and that is why he couldn’t control himself. If a Muslim dentist brought the same case as Dr. Knight’s to the judge this same judge may have ruled in Nelson’s favor.
If Dr. Knight can’t keep himself in the frame of mind to work on patients and not think about sex maybe he shouldn’t be working in dentistry anyway. Possibly his female patients may be looking elsewhere for their dental needs after reading about this case. Divorcing his wife would have been a better call when he looks back on this in the future. He has issues he is not dealing with in an appropriate way and the judge made the wrong ruling in this case. The all male Iowa Supreme Court agreed with this ruling. My feeling and the feeling of many women reading about this case is that Iowa needs more women working as judges. These judges are thinking like Muslims. This is not the American way of doing things.