Iowa Senate GOP office accused of 'locker room' environment with jokes about sex, race

Iowa Senate GOP office accused of 'locker room' environment with jokes about sex, race
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A former staff member for the Iowa Senate Republican caucus on Tuesday reportedly described a “locker room” atmosphere during her time working in the office during testimony in a lawsuit against the state of Iowa.

According to The Des Moines Register, Kristen Anderson in her testimony described the office environment as “always free-flowing” with “conversation and jokes" about race and sex. In the lawsuit, Anderson reportedly claimed that she was fired in 2013 for making complaints about the behavior. The state attorneys say she was fired due to her performance.

Anderson described the conduct of one staffer in particular, Jim Friedrich, who still works for the caucus. Friedrich, according to Anderson’s testimony, made inappropriate comments about women and at one point began regularly referring to women with the word c---.

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"Sometimes we would even yell — I mean really yell — at him to stop," Anderson reportedly said in her testimony. 

"It got to the point where we would even yell, 'How would you like it if we said these things to you?' And his reply was either laughter or, 'I don't care, you can say whatever you want to me.'" 

Anderson also described the conduct of former state Sen. Shawn Hamerlinck (R), who she said frequently made comments about the breast size of some lobbyists.

Another former staffer for the caucus testified that personnel files were sparse when he began working in the office.

The report said Anderson testified that she unsuccessfully complained to supervisors about the behavior.