DES MOINES (AP) — A dental assistant fired because her boss thought she was too attractive has won a rare reconsideration by the Iowa Supreme Court of her sexual discrimination lawsuit.
Chief Justice Mark Cady signed an order this week that resubmitted a lawsuit filed by Melissa Nelson. The reconsideration became effective Wednesday morning, and a new decision could come as early as Friday.
Justices have granted just five petitions to rehear a case over the past decade.
Nelson sued after she was fired in 2010 by Webster County dentist James Knight. She claimed that he complained to her that he was distracted by her appearance.
Knight told Nelson's husband in January 2010 that she was a threat to his marriage and that he feared he would attempt to have an affair with her if she stayed employed by him.
The court ruled in late December that Nelson's firing did not violate the Iowa Civil Rights Act because it was motivated by specific emotions tied to a specific relationship, not gender.
Nelson petitioned the court to withdraw its December ruling, saying it erred because her gender played a role in her firing.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.