Iowa taxpayers on the hook for state employees’ bad behaviors
On June 3, the Des Moines Register published an article outlining $7 million of settlements so far for 2019. A majority of these settlements are for sexual harassment claims against state employees, including $4.15 million in payments to settle claims against former Iowa Finance Authority director Dave Jamison. Click here to view article.
“It is abundantly clear that our state needs to enact policies that will protect employees against workplace harassment,” says Beth Barnhill, Executive Director for the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault (IowaCASA). “Our state has an obligation to guarantee its employees safe workplaces free of harassment, abuse, and misconduct. Those who cause harm must be held accountable, instead of shirking the resulting debt of their bad behaviors onto tax-paying citizens. The state has a responsibility to take action, and sooner rather than later.”
In the wake of the #MeToo movement exploding across social media, the National Women’s Law Center released a report last year documenting national progress in catalyzing change to end workplace harassment. State legislators across the country introduced over 100 bills to strengthen protections against workplace harassment, but notably, Iowa is not included in this report. Click here to view report.
The Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s mission is to promote a society free from sexual harassment, abuse, and assault and to improve support available to victims. The Iowa Victim Service Call Center is available 24/7 to provide free and confidential support and resources to victims and their family members at 1-800-770-1650 or by texting “IOWAHELP” to 20121. For more information about IowaCASA, visit www.iowacasa.org.