For more information please call  800.727.2766


Two Million Dollar Verdict Against Iowa Senate Republicans

A former communications director for the Iowa Senate Republican Caucus sued for sexual harassment and retaliation. Kirsten Anderson sued the state of Iowa, the Senate, the Caucus and several officials after she was fired when she complained of sexual harassment.

Ms. Anderson testified that her working environment was filled with sexual jokes and innuendo. For example, one former state senator made comments about lobbyists’ breasts and the skirt lengths of female pages as well as asking a staffer about the size of her areolas. A male staff analyst for the caucus was said to have teased women in the office about their sex lives and called his co-workers “prudes” if they did not go along with his taunts. Ms. Anderson testified that he once showed her a nude picture of Kim Kardashian on his computer and he often used the “C-word” when speaking about women. Soon after Ms. Anderson submitted a memo outlining the offensive conduct, she was terminated. Several other staffers testified at the trial, corroborating Ms. Anderson’s claims about the sexually offensive conduct and confirming that they did not complain for fear of retaliation. The Senate Republicans claimed that she was fired for poor performance.

The jury returned a verdict for 2.2 million dollars in compensatory damages. The governor has indicated that the money will be paid out of the state general fund. Ms. Anderson has filed a motion to have an independent investigation into the Iowa Senate Republican Caucus because of concern that things are not any better in its working environment. The Caucus has claimed that the issues have been addressed.