Wisconsin and Iowa share not only a border, but some cultural struggles as well. In both places, efforts have been made in businesses large and small, as well as in government, to educate people about appropriate behavior in the workplace. Unfortunately, the messages don’t always get through.
We read recently of a former Iowa state director who was fired for sexual harassment in the workplace less than a month after he and his staff completed training on preventing sexual harassment.
Iowa Finance Authority Director Dave Jamison was fired by Gov. Kim Reynolds after Reynolds received a three-page letter written by a female staffer who spelled out two dozen allegations against Jamison. The woman said he talked about her breasts, asked her to share explicit details of past relationships and sent texts male genitalia to employees.
Earlier this year, Reynolds asked all state directors to ensure that their staffs received sexual harassment prevention training. The governor wrote in a Feb. 21 directive that workplace sexual harassment is “a destructive force that must be stopped.”
Just six days later, Jamison wrote to Reynolds’ chief of staff that his staff had completed the ordered training.
The governor fired him 25 days later, citing “credible allegations of sexual harassment.”
According to a news report, Jamison had been previously warned about inappropriate workplace behavior by other employees, including Iowa’s interim executive director. He was also warned by the Chief Administrative Officer and an attorney to stop making lewd remarks to co-workers.
If you have endured sexual harassment and retaliation for reporting it or objecting to it, contact an employment law attorney with a track record of success in protecting client careers and rights.