The Iowa legislature adjourned on Saturday. Sexual harassment and workplace behavior was a topic that hung over the session. Last year, former Republican Senate caucus staffer Kirsten Anderson received a $1.75 million lawsuit settlement. She alleged she was fired in 2013 hours after filing a complaint regarding sexual harassment.
During the course of the 2018 session: Anderson’s old boss, former Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix, resigned after video surfaced of him appearing to kiss a lobbyist. A senate aide was fired for sexual harassment. The governor also quickly terminated the former Director of the Iowa Finance Authority for years of sexual harassment. Iowa lawmakers have made changes to the manner in which sexual harassment at the statehouse is addressed. Kirsten Anderson says she’s disappointed more wasn’t done.
“The leaders at the statehouse had the opportunity to proactively get out ahead of this and talk about workplace harassment, make workplaces safer for Iowans,” Anderson says. “They have not done that. We have not seen substantive legislation put forth.”
Anderson is now working full-time as an advocate for harassment-free workplaces. She is now a registered Democrat.