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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Woman fired for extramarital potential: Unfair, but not gender bias, Iowa court rules

By Warren Richey


Law and Order from Bigstock




An Iowa dentist did not unlawfully discriminate when he fired an employee he found attractive, fearing they might have an extramarital affair, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday in a case examining a murky area of employment law


JewishWorldReview.com | (TCSM) An Iowa dentist did not engage in unlawful gender discrimination when he fired his assistant after concluding she was so attractive that he feared they might have an extramarital affair, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled on Friday.

The seven justices, all male, threw out a gender discrimination lawsuit, saying that the dentist's actions may have been unfair to the longtime female employee, but that his conduct did not amount to sex discrimination.

The assistant was fired after the dentist's wife concluded that the attractive employee had become a threat to the couple's marriage. The jealous spouse demanded the assistant be terminated.

The case is important because it examines the scope of protections against gender discrimination in a murky area of employment law.

Melissa Nelson worked for more than 10 years as a dental assistant for Dr. James Knight, a dentist in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The two, who are both married with children, were friendly at work and allegedly began to engage in workplace banter and off-hours texting. Some of their private communications were highly personal and sexual in nature, according to the decision. Dr. Knight said he sometimes told Nelson that she was wearing tight-fitting clothing that he found distracting.



At one point, according to a statement in the record made by Knight, Nelson commented about the infrequency of her sex life. The dentist said he responded to her: "That's like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it."

Nelson denied ever flirting with the dentist or hinting at an intimate relationship with him. She said her clothing was not too revealing.

Eventually, Knight's wife, Jeanne, discovered the texts and confronted her husband. She insisted that Nelson had become a "big threat to our marriage" and must be fired, the decision recounts.

The couple consulted a senior pastor at their church seeking guidance on the issue.

In firing Nelson, Knight said that his relationship with her had become a detriment to Knight's family and that for the best interests of both families, Knight and Nelson should no longer work together.

He gave Nelson one-month's severance pay.

Knight later told Nelson's husband, Steve, that there had been no inappropriate conduct between the two, but that he was worried that he was getting too personally attached to Nelson.

He said he "feared he would try to have an affair with her down the road if he did not fire her," according to the court decision.

"The issue before us is not whether a jury could find that Dr. Knight treated Nelson badly," Justice Edward Mansfield wrote for the court. The only issue before the court was whether the dentist violated the state's gender discrimination law.

"Nelson argues that her gender was a motivating factor in her termination because she would not have lost her job if she had been a man," Justice Mansfield said.

Nelson's arguments warrant serious consideration, he wrote. But the justices concluded that there is a difference between an employment decision based on personal relations and a decision based on gender itself.


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"In the former case, the decision is driven entirely by individual feelings and emotions regarding a specific person," Mansfield said. "Such a decision is not gender-based, nor is it based on factors that might be a proxy for gender."

The court said civil rights laws are designed to ensure that workers are treated the same regardless of their gender. Nothing in Knight's actions undercut that mandate, the court said.

The justices noted that there had been no allegations of sexual harassment or of a hostile work environment. Instead, Knight's decision to fire Nelson had stemmed from a consensual workplace relationship.

The Iowa high court had issued a similar ruling in the same case in December. In an unusual move, the court vacated that decision to reconsider the issue.

The case is Nelson v. Knight (11-1857). .

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© 2013, The Christian Science Monitor