Iowa Court Allows A “Fear Of Having Affair” Defense To Female Employee Termination

by McGrath North Labor & Employment Group

(402) 341 – 3070

In a novel decision, the Iowa Supreme Court found that a dentist who fired a female employee because his wife was afraid he would have an affair with her had not engaged in unlawful gender discrimination. The decision was described as one based on his intent to calm his wife, not an intent to discriminate because of gender. Given the circumstances of this decision, the only rational take-away is that a termination’s “unfairness,” by itself, does not establish unlawful discrimination.


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