In 2010, Dr. James H. Knight DDS fired his employee, Melissa Nelson, explaining that his wife had become jealous of their consensual but nonsexual relationship. Nelson, in turn, filed a sex discrimination claim, alleging that her termination would not have occurred, but-for her sex. The Iowa Supreme Court sided with Knight, ruling that Nelson’s termination was due to Knight’s wife’s jealousy, irrespective of Nelson’s sex. This Comment argues that: (1) in the absence of sexual conduct, the court’s reliance on precedent involving consensual sexual relationships was misplaced; (2) in relying on the wrong precedent, the court set an unnecessarily high standard for plaintiffs to meet in a sex discrimination case; and (3) Nelson v. James H. Knight DDS, P.C. is instead a mixed-motives case and should have succeeded as a sex discrimination claim.
Civil Rights and Discrimination
Labor and Employment Law
- Journal title
Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice
E. Supp. 14
- Date submitted
8 September 2022