A jury has awarded over $2 million to a former Iowa Senate, GOP caucus aide, who sued for sexual harassment.
Kirsten Anderson, the former Republican Caucus Communications Director, said she feels vindicated by the verdict.
“We had no idea what was going to happen,” said Anderson. “The verdict that the jury put down sends a strong message to the state house, to Iowans, about workplace harassment and retaliation.”
It’s a message Anderson has been fighting to convey for some time.
She says it all began back in 2012, when she was fired just 7 hours after handing in a memo describing the “toxic boys club” culture at the State house.
“I’ve told the truth, the work environment is poor, it has been poor, its still poor and needs to change,” said Anderson.
Republican leadership says Anderson was fired solely for her poor performance on the job, but, former colleagues backed up her claim in their testimony during the trial.
“If I had to say what was the most crucial, it’s what i said in my final argument, and that’s the former co-workers, the people that still work in the office, that came and supported her,” said attorney, Michael Carroll.
Anderson’s attorney says, her co-workers backed her up using explicit details of her former colleague’s like senator, Shawn Hamerlink, and current analyst, Jim Friedrich’s, toxic behavior.
While republican leadership disagrees with the verdict, senator Bill Dix, did say this: “the environment prior to my leadership was lacking in professionalism and appropriate behavior.”