A district court sided with Knight; Nelson appealed.
Framing the issue for the Iowa Supreme Court, Justice Edward M. Mansfield wrote: "The question we must answer is ... whether an employee who has not engaged in flirtatious conduct may be lawfully terminated simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction."
Answering the question, he continued: "The issue before us is not whether a jury could find that Dr. Knight treated Nelson badly. We are asked to decide only if a genuine fact issue exists as to whether Dr. Knight engaged in unlawful gender discrimination when he fired Nelson at the request of his wife. For the reasons previously discussed, we believe this conduct did not amount to unlawful discrimination, and therefore we affirm the judgment of the district court."