by Matthew P. Webster, Esq., Gray Plant Mooty, Minneapolis
Workplace romance has long been the bane of the HR profession. Intimate relationships between co-workers or between supervisors and subordinates inevitably result in thorny legal issues after the romance ends or co-workers get jealous.
A December 2012 Iowa Supreme Court decision (Nelson v. Knight, No. 11–1857, Supreme Court of Iowa, 2012) has further roiled the workplace romance waters by holding that an employer could terminate an employee for being “irresistible.”
Trouble with texting
In Nelson v. Knight, a former employee sued her employer, a dentist, for sex discrimination in violation of the Iowa Civil Rights Act, alleging that she was fired because of her gender.
Melissa had been employed for more than 10 years as a dental assistant in the office of her boss, James. Melissa and James frequently texted each other about both work and personal matters outside th...(register to read more)
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Weight discrimination: The next big protected category?
- Think co-worker religious bias wasn't serious? Don't bet on courts taking such a casual view
- Cupid in the workplace: You can terminate supervisor for lying about personal relationship
- Warn managers and supervisors: Never suggest that employees' kids get in the way of work