Guest / Limited Access /
Should an Iowa Dentist Have Fired his Attractive Assistant?
Should an Iowa Dentist Have Fired his Attractive Assistant?

Iowa's Supreme Court ruled 7-0 that a male dentist was within his legal rights to fire an attractive female assistant because he and his wife "feared he would try to have an affair with her down the road." The court said the dentist, who consulted his pastor first, did not discriminate based on gender.

What experts said (starting with "yes" and moving to "no"):

"Owners should not have to choose between keeping their business or marriage, and laws should not make it difficult for men to remove temptations that threaten their marriage. Employees do have some discretion over whether they find themselves in this situation."
Brad Dacus, president, Pacific Justice Institute

"We have to walk away from temptation; we just cannot court it, which would be happening if she had remained. The best thing to do would be to show compassion and help the woman find another job so she's not hurt by the firing."
Michael McManus, president, Marriage Savers

"The dentist made the right choice in fighting to save his marriage. But we should take this as a cautionary tale. By establishing boundaries at work early on, the situation would not have gotten as far, and that assistant would not have lost her job."
Greg Smalley, executive director of marriage and family formation, Focus on the Family

"If someone has many risk factors, then it's important to adjust behavior to protect the marriage relationship. But the employer would have many other options if he feels that his self-control is going to be stretched beyond his ability to stop himself."
Jennifer Ripley, doctoral psychology program director, Regent University (Virginia)

"Jesus said 'If your ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Quick Takes
Three recent books of note.
RecommendedBaylor to Fire Head Coach Art Briles, Demote President Ken Starr
Baylor to Fire Head Coach Art Briles, Demote President Ken Starr
UPDATE: Briles, Starr, and athletic director Ian McCaw to face punishment after football player scandal.
TrendingNicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
Nicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
I had no untapped, unanswered yearnings. All was well in the state of Denmark. And then it wasn’t.
Editor's PickWhat It’s Like to Be Gay at Wheaton College
What It’s Like to Be Gay at Wheaton College
The evangelical university has received negative press on LGBT matters. My own experience paints a different picture.
Christianity Today
Should an Iowa Dentist Have Fired his Attractive Assistant?
hide thisMarch March

In the Magazine

March 2013

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.