A former key staffer for the Iowa Senate Republican caucus says was fired shortly after providing documentation that she had been sexually harassed on the job.
Kirsten Anderson claims that while serving as communications director for the Senate Republican caucus, male legislators and staffers repeatedly made offensive sexual remarks towards her and other women.
“When you go to the workplace, you should have a safe environment. Women especially should not have their body parts scrutinized, objectified. People should not be ridiculed or mocked for simply the color of their pants that they are wearing, and those sorts of things were taking place at the Capitol,” Anderson said during an interview.
So what kinds of things were said?
“Things that would make you blush,” she recalled. “Things that you don’t want your daughter, your mother, your sister having to put up with. And that sort of attitude about women — objectifying women — it has to change.”
She also added that the comments were “extremely inappropriate, and constituents would not be happy that their legislators were saying these things.”
A top aide to Senate Republican leader Bill Dix, Ed Failor Jr., denied Anderson’s allegations and said that she was fired for poor job performance. “I can assure you that under Senator Dix’s leadership, sexual harassment is not and will not be tolerated,” Failor said.
Anderson had worked for the Senate GOP caucus since 2008, The Des Moines Register reported.
Although some media members pressured her to single out specific offenders, Anderson chose not to name names because she is more focused with “changing the work environment.”