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Thread: You're too hot to work here, you're fired. Court says OK. Seriously.

  1. #41

    Re: You're too hot to work here, you're fired. Court says OK. Seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Gerard View Post
    The extra layer of bullshit is that this dude made a public spectacle of it.

    I've lived in right to work states so long, I'm conditioned to the idea that you can fire somebody at random because the day of the week has an "R" in it.

    If he'd fired her because of some undisclosed personality disagreement, I wouldn't be talking about this. But this dude is the one that made it a referendum on her looks and his lack of control over his manly bits.

    And that's why I'd have been a rabblerouser on this jury. I'd be fine with him firing her without cause. But supplying such an asinine cause puts him on trial.

    This, to me, illustrates how there are different kinds of social awkwardness. I tried to map out if this could have been a plot on the US version of The Office and realized they'd have never done this with Steve Carrell. Because he's a clown with no sensitivity but a good heart. There's a character who took his release form for a relationship with his boss and romanticized it as a "love contract." Completely daft but ultimately benign.

    Here, the whole thing seems vaguely like retaliation for the assistant NOT sleeping with the boss. "You turn me down, I put you on trial for tempting me." Whereas if she'd run off with him and actually wrecked his marriage, he'd no longer have grounds to fire her. Because his grounds for firing her rest on her being a "threat" to his marriage. If she'd played along with his advances and ended his marriage, she wouldn't be a threat.

    It's institutionalized sexual harassment.
    I slightly disagree with that last for 1 reason and 1 alone.

    I don't think this court decision represents a larger whole. "Institutionalized" implies its setting or expressing a real precedent or rule which is going to be widely followed. And its not. People for the most part are going to laugh at, scream, rage and react against this, and Iowa is going to be see as rather backward.

    So okay. "Institutionalized". In 1 state, since it was the state Supreme Court. But no further, I'd reckon.

  2. #42
    Sassy Molasses Treacle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiffy
    I slightly disagree with that last for 1 reason and 1 alone.

    I don't think this court decision represents a larger whole. "Institutionalized" implies its setting or expressing a real precedent or rule which is going to be widely followed. And its not. People for the most part are going to laugh at, scream, rage and react against this, and Iowa is going to be see as rather backward.

    So okay. "Institutionalized". In 1 state, since it was the state Supreme Court. But no further, I'd reckon.
    I think you're misunderstanding what institutionalized means in the context of sexism/sexual harassment/discrimination.

    Also, firing a woman because of her 'distracting' appearance has happened in other states.

    *sent from my mobile device

  3. #43

    Re: You're too hot to work here, you're fired. Court says OK. Seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Treacle View Post
    I think you're misunderstanding what institutionalized means in the context of sexism/sexual harassment/discrimination.

    Also, firing a woman because of her 'distracting' appearance has happened in other states.

    *sent from my mobile device
    [WEBSTERS] in·sti·tu·tion·al·ize - "to incorporate into a structured and often highly formalized system".


    "Incorporate" is the key word, although "structured" is also relevant.

    Within the state of Iowa, if this has set a precedent which will then be applied to other instances, then its been institutionalized. My argument was that it goes no further though even if that's true in Iowa.

    Then again, what do I know? I've been told no less than forty times on this board I am inherently wrong about any such issue, no matter what I say.

  4. #44

    Re: You're too hot to work here, you're fired. Court says OK. Seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiffy View Post
    [WEBSTERS] in·sti·tu·tion·al·ize - "to incorporate into a structured and often highly formalized system".


    "Incorporate" is the key word, although "structured" is also relevant.

    Within the state of Iowa, if this has set a precedent which will then be applied to other instances, then its been institutionalized. My argument was that it goes no further though even if that's true in Iowa.

    Then again, what do I know? I've been told no less than forty times on this board I am inherently wrong about any such issue, no matter what I say.
    Precedent or no, he involved a judge, lawyers, and twelve jurors in affirming his lunacy.

    Whereas if he'd supplied no reason, what would have happened?

    He had to go out of his way to make people aware of his inappropriate feelings.

    And now, everyone else at his office knows the price of turning the boss down.

  5. #45

    Re: You're too hot to work here, you're fired. Court says OK. Seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Gerard View Post
    Precedent or no, he involved a judge, lawyers, and twelve jurors in affirming his lunacy.

    Whereas if he'd supplied no reason, what would have happened?

    He had to go out of his way to make people aware of his inappropriate feelings.

    And now, everyone else at his office knows the price of turning the boss down.
    Sure. But that's a case of him using AN institution as the vehicle for his lunacy, its not a point of law being institutionalized--at least beyond his company and possibly the whole state of Iowa (substitute "incorporated" into that sentence if you want to get what I mean). Its bad, but when I hear the term "institutionalized", for me it implies a larger scale being implied.

    But I can see your point. At his company, in that scope, its now to be assumed harassment is officially tolerated. If the institution in question is his company, then its true statement that its been institutionalized. And as I admitted, overall in the state of Iowa, IF that's picked up and freely applied by other companies, or made into a point of law, then such would be true in a wider sense. But I'm doubtful that's going to happen, and darn sure it goes no further than Iowa.

  6. #46
    Lord of the OOMPH!!! Ray G.'s Avatar
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    Re: You're too hot to work here, you're fired. Court says OK. Seriously.

    The whole "would he have fired her if she was a man" question kind of misses the point. He would have - if he was attracted to men and was as much of a choad as he is now.

    It's more that this sets a horrible, horrible precedent where someone can be fired for someone else's moral failings. This is a good cautionary tale for at-will employment states.
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  7. #47
    Sassy Molasses Treacle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiffy

    [WEBSTERS] in·sti·tu·tion·al·ize - "to incorporate into a structured and often highly formalized system".

    "Incorporate" is the key word, although "structured" is also relevant.

    Within the state of Iowa, if this has set a precedent which will then be applied to other instances, then its been institutionalized. My argument was that it goes no further though even if that's true in Iowa.

    Then again, what do I know? I've been told no less than forty times on this board I am inherently wrong about any such issue, no matter what I say.
    Whatever you say, Spiffy.

  8. #48
    Right Guy AthenAltena's Avatar
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    Re: You're too hot to work here, you're fired. Court says OK. Seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray G. View Post
    It's more that this sets a horrible, horrible precedent where someone can be fired for someone else's moral failings. This is a good cautionary tale for at-will employment states.
    Exactly, even if you wanna argue this isn't about sexism (when I'd say it pretty clearly is) it still means that you can do absolutely nothing wrong and still get canned because someone else doesn't feel like they can keep it in their pants around you. And that's a really horrible thing to have on the books.

    And I still can't get over the sheer arrogance of this guy assuming that if he wanted to have an affair with her she would automatically say yes. That to me says a lot about his character.

  9. #49
    Trouble Boy J.R. LeMar's Avatar
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    Re: You're too hot to work here, you're fired. Court says OK. Seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by AthenAltena View Post
    Exactly, even if you wanna argue this isn't about sexism (when I'd say it pretty clearly is)...
    It's interesting to me that the only people here who are trying to argue that, or defend this ruling in any way, are men.

  10. #50
    Right Guy AthenAltena's Avatar
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    Re: You're too hot to work here, you're fired. Court says OK. Seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.R. LeMar View Post
    It's interesting to me that the only people here who are trying to argue that, or defend this ruling in any way, are men.
    That too.

    And it seems to me that the logic is that "well it's not about her gender, it was about her body and attractiveness" which can be viewed as two separate issues, but if you ask most women they will most likely answer that they are in fact one and the same. I'd argue that there's really no way to separate those two issues since women historically have and continue to have their worth judged by their bodies and their attractiveness and it has an effect on every aspect of their lives (employment being a large one since it's continually stressed that women have to look just nice enough but not too nice in case someone, like this asshole in the story, takes it as an invitation or a "distraction"), and trying to argue that there's nothing sexist about that to me just falls flat on its face.

    When you get down to it it's about judging a person by their body and nothing else, and this asshole dentist even said she was a good worker, and that's fundamentally an issue of not viewing someone as a complete person and instead just as an object of desire, and you can't convince me there's nothing sexist about that. It's the textbook definition of objectification.

    And I think women learn how to recognize when it's happening to us, and I think pretty much any woman you could ask will be able to tell you about a moment when she realized that she wasn't being perceived as a whole person and instead was just being seen as a pair of breasts/legs/etc. so we become hypersensitive to it and learn how to recognize it. Or the moment you're talking to a man and suddenly realize that he's not listening to you because you're a woman. It's not a good feeling.

    And then being told "What? That's not sexism, you're imagining things!" is just a thinly veiled rehashing of "you're hysterical" and is salt on the wound.
    Last edited by AthenAltena; 12-24-2012 at 08:38 AM.

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