A receptionist at a Minnesota cabinetmaking company was married to the president of the company. When business plummeted, the owner terminated the president, and terminated his wife as well. The wife sued under a state law that prohibits “marital status discrimination.” She argued that she was fired because of her marital status – that is, the only reason she was let go was because she was married to the president.
She claimed that the CEO of the parent company told her that “it would probably be awkward” for her to stay since her husband was leaving, and that her position was eliminated because she would probably have to relocate with her husband. The Minnesota Court of Appeals allowed the lawsuit, saying the woman had made a good argument that the company discriminated against her because of the identity of her husband.