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  • Sex Harassment Case: Woman Fired for Threatening Her Boss’ Marriage

    Melissa Nelson had worked for James Knight for 10 years before Mr. Knight’s wife complained about his sexual infatuation with his employee.   Not until about nine years into her ten year tenure did Mr. Knight start telling Mrs. Nelson that her clothes were “distracting;” so distracting in fact, that he even at times asked the dental assistant to cover up her lab coat. According to court records, Knight told Nelson that “if she saw his pants bulging, she would know her clothing was too revealing.”

    Laws vary from state to state, so if you are in California, and if you feel victimized by your boss, contact an Orange County sexual harassment attorney immediately. The best way to protect your rights, and to ensure justice is by having an Orange County sexual harassment attorney represent you.

    In response to Mrs. Nelson’s complaints about Mr. Knights comments being unfair, Mr. Knight said that it was a good thing she didn’t wear tight pants too “because then he would get it coming and going.” Court records also show that Mr. Knight said that infrequency in Mrs. Nelson’s sex life is “like having a Lamborghini in the garage and never driving it.”

    Mr. Knight’s wife, who also worked in the dental office, put her foot down when she discovered the two were texting each other. Mr. Knight ultimately agreed to fire Mrs. Nelson because she was a “big threat” to his marriage. Mrs. Nelson had not considered Mr. Knight’s behavior to be sexual harassment. She did however, consider it to be gender or sex harassment.  So the Iowa Supreme Court was left to determine “Whether an employee who has not engaged in flirtatious conduct may be lawfully terminated simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction.”

    The court ruled though that Mr. Knight’s actions were “unfair,” but that they were not (based on Iowa law) “illegal.” The Supreme Court sided with a lower court, ruling that Nelson’s termination did not constitute sex discrimination under the Iowa Civil Rights Act.

    But sex harassment laws vary from state to state. If you are a California employee, and you feel you are the victim of sex or sexual harassment, contact an Orange County sexual harassment attorney today. He or she can evaluate the facts of your case, and can determine if (based on California Law) you are indeed a victim.

    In the case of Mrs. Nelson, Mr. Knight even went as far as saying that Mrs. Nelson had done nothing wrong and that “she was the best dental assistant he ever had.” Mrs. Nelson filed the lawsuit, alleging she was fired because of her gender. She did not however, contend that she was the victim of sexual harassment. Mr. Knight in turn argued that he fired Mrs. Nelson because she was a “perceived threat” to his marriage — not because she was female. In fact, Mr. Knight said that he only employs women and replaced Mrs. Nelson with another female worker.

    Sex and sexual harassment laws vary greatly from state to state. Sex harassment is considered a form of discrimination – and does not have to be “sexual” in nature. If you feel victimized by sex or sexual harassment, an Orange County sexual harassment lawyer can give you more information on California state laws, as they apply specifically to your case. So do not hesitate. Contact one today. An Orange County sexual harassment attorney can be contacted at (949) 260-9131.