The Corporate Law Group

You’re Too Good!


So the Iowa Supremes said it’s OK to fire someone for being too attractive.  Fort Dodge Dentist James Knight fired Melissa Nelson because he thought he might try to have an affair with her and he did it for his wife.  Really?  And, of course, Nelson had done nothing but work hard for him for 10 years.  The court said it was OK since motivated not by gender but by feelings.  Really?  This reminds us of the New London, Connecticut, police case which made the bòn mót “military intelligence” even more oxymoronic.  There, the New London, Connecticut, police department was OK in rejecting an applicant who scored too high on an IQ test.  You read that right; the New London police department wants only cops who are not that smart.  The would-be-cop sued, lost at the district court level, appealed, and lost his appeal.  The court found that, since the same standards were used for everyone, it was not discriminatory to not interview the smarter candidates.  Well,… we guess,… same standards except that whole intelligence thing.  The candidate there, Robert Jordan, a 49-year-old college graduate, took the exam in 1996 and scored 33 points, the equivalent of an IQ of 125.  New London police interviewed only candidates who scored 20 to 27, because they thought smart cops might get bored.  Yes, let’s keep all police as confused as possible as they try to “solve crimes.”  What does this really mean?  That it’s OK to discriminate against the upper half of the bell curve.  Smart, beautiful, people can take care of themselves?  It might.  Apparently even though you have as little control over your intelligence or looks as you do your skin color, it’s OK to discriminate on the basis of the former two.  Of course if you can’t discriminate according to intelligence, maybe the really dumb applicants would have to be hired as well.  Is it admirable that the Iowa Dentist knows he’s a low down unfaithful dog?  Is the real reason New London did not want the smart applicant was because the Chief didn’t want to feel like the dumbest person in the room.  We guess in this weird world we inhabit if you want that job, forget the eyeliner and make a few mistakes on your test.

—  Paul Marotta

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