Sunday, April 30, 2006

Arousing the Jealousy of the Boss' Wife

Harass_2 [T]his case presents the limited question of whether Title VII's prohibition on discrimination on the basis of "sex" includes a termination on the basis of an employee's admitted, consensual sexual conduct with a supervisor.

Thus begins the recent 8th Circuit opinion in the Title VII case of Tenge v. Phillips Modern Ag Co., No. 05-2803 (8th Cir. April 28, 2006)

The case concerns a female secretary who took a liking to her male boss, and demonstrated her interests through a number of love notes and a few physical touchings.

Only problem was that her boss' wife was also her boss and she fired the secretary when she pieced together an old love note that she found in a dumpster.  Although the male boss initially reinstated the secretary, he eventually again terminated her stating that his wife was "making me choose between my best employee or her and the kids."

The 8th Circuit affirmed the district court granting summary judgment to the employer finding that it was not illegal to fire an employee for engaging in consensual sexual conduct with a supervisor.  Characterizing this case as one of sexual favortism, the court stated that:

the principle that emerges from [sexual favoritism] cases is that absent claims of
coercion or widespread sexual favoritism, where an employee engages in consensual
sexual conduct with a supervisor and an employment decision is based on this
conduct, Title VII is not implicated because any benefits of the relationship are due
to the sexual conduct, rather than the gender, of the employee.

Additionally, as a case involving consensual sexual conduct without allegations of hostile work enivronment, the court also found that:

A number of federal district courts have faced similar cases and concluded that terminating an employee based on the employee's consensual sexual conduct does not violate Title VII absent allegations that the conduct stemmed from unwelcome sexual advances or a hostile work environment.

In sum, the court concluded that if the "ultimate basis for [an employee's] dismissal was not her sex, [but the boss's] desire to allay his wife's concerns over [the employee's] admitted sexual behavior with him," a claim of sex discrimination under Title VII cannot be made out.

Hat Tip:  How Appealing

PS

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/2006/04/arousing_the_je.html

Employment Discrimination | Permalink

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Comments

This reminds me of my wife and secretary. Only difference is that my wife cannot fire the secretary so she threatens to divorce me if I don't stop with the affair my firing her. Well I tell my wife the affair is over and that we just work together now. Wife is not willing to agree to this and demands I fire the secretary? How can I fire her?

P.S. The affair is not really over we just want my wife to think it is so that she stays off our backs.

Posted by: Dick Nibler | Apr 30, 2006 9:55:08 PM

Here's a clue: stop cheating on your wife or get a divorce. Simple as that.

Seriously, why put yourself, your wife and your bimbo thru this BS? If you have a family, dont taint it by bringing lies and dishonor to your home with this. Have the balls to say hey bimbo I like you alot, really wanna bone ya but let me let the old lady go first because if I get busted with adultery then you and I wont be able to afford the super 8 anymore.

Posted by: CheaterHater | May 1, 2006 6:20:27 AM

My advice, dump the wife and kids and just keep boning the secretary. Your happiness is more important than anyone elses, especially CheaterHater's.

Posted by: HappyCheater | May 1, 2006 8:43:08 AM

you tell him cheater hater!

Posted by: Hell yeah | May 1, 2006 11:12:37 AM

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