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$7 million so far: Iowa to pay $100K sexual harassment claim, its 7th settlement of 2019

Iowa agreed Monday to pay $100,000 to settle a state employee’s claim of sexual harassment, the seventh such payout this year.

...Lawmakers have reworked and refreshed their policies after the state made national headlines when former Senate Republican staffer Kirsten Anderson in 2017 won a $1.75 million settlement in a sexual harassment lawsuit. But some of the policies do not conform to standards set by the National Conference of State Legislatures. And victim advocates have long said Iowa should reform policies in all areas of state government.

The Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, for example, issued a statement Tuesday that called for the state to enact better policies to protect employees.

“Our state has an obligation to guarantee its employees safe workplaces free of harassment, abuse and misconduct," said Beth Barnhill, the coalition's executive director. "Those who cause harm must be held accountable, instead of shirking the resulting debt of their bad behaviors onto tax-paying citizens."

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