The Iowa Senate’s Republican leader has released a statement following a jury’s verdict that one of his former staff members should be paid $2.2 million for being subjected to discrimination and retaliation.
Kirsten Anderson worked for Republicans in the senate for five years until she was fired in May of 2013. Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix said Anderson was fired “only for her poor work product and absolutely no other reason.”
Anderson argued she was fired because she complained about a toxic workplace where sexual harassment was commonplace. Senator Dix, in his written statement, admitted “the environment prior to” his election as the Senate’s Republican leader in November of 2012 “was lacking in professionalism and appropriate behavior.” Dix said “any issues that arose during the trial, which had not previously been reported to a supervisor, will be investigated and addressed immediately.” Three of Anderson’s coworkers gave sometimes graphic testimony about the harassment they experienced or observed.
Anderson got a raise about two months after Dix took over as the leader of the Republican Caucus in the state senate, then was fired four months later. Dix said in his written statement that during the nearly five years that he’s been the Senate GOP’s leader he has “immediately and effectively” addressed complaints of harassment and inappropriate behavior. And Dix concluded his statement by saying: “The Senate Republican Caucus is now a safe environment and there is no tolerance for any and all types of harassment.”