The leader of Iowa's largest public employees union was quick to react Thursday to comments from Iowa Senate Majority Leader, Bill Dix.
AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement in response to Iowa Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix’s comments on sexual harassment in state government:
“Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix’s assertion that ‘this kind of thing happens all the time across state government’ in reference to the sexual harassment lawsuit and subsequent $1.75 million settlement is disturbing, to say the least. I certainly can’t speak for the Senate Republican staff, but sexual harassment in the rest of state government most certainly does not happen all the time – or at all – without consequence.
“I recommend Senator Dix review the Violence-Free Workplace Policy, which clearly states that the sexual harassment occurring on his watch as Minority Leader would have been grounds for dismissal for many employees and supervisors in the Executive Branch.
“As the union representing the state employees Senator Dix appears to be referencing, we simply won’t stand for this kind of oust-worthy rhetoric to be spewed. Our State employees are the best in the country and work tirelessly to make Iowa a great place to live and work, even under mismanaged budgets and uncertain futures. They don’t deserve to be disrespected by Senator Dix, and we will continue the fight for workplace dignity so long as there are workers to protect.”
The verbal battle follows a recent court decision, in which a jury awarded former Senate Republican Caucus Communications Director, Kirsten Anderson, nearly 2-million dollars in sexual harassment damages.
Anderson fought a three year court battle, after she was fired in May of 2013, only hours after she complained about her work environment.
She accused male supervisors of ignoring what she called a 'boys' club' culture inside the Capitol, which allegedly enabled sexual harassment.