Yesterday, the identity of one of two women who filed harassment complaints about Herman Cain in the 1990s was revealed. Today, it turns out that the woman, current Treasury employee Karen Kraushaar, followed up her infamous departure from Cain and the National Restaurant Association by filing a formal grievance about her next employer, too. The Cain campaign will probably crow about this, saying that it's evidence that she's a habitual squeaky wheel who cries wolf in order to extort money out of her employers, that ladies be complaining, and therefore Cain's exonerated. Not so fast. What Kraushaar did at her next job challenges neither the credibility of her claims nor the credibility of the four other accusers.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Kraushaar's next employer was the Immigration and Naturalization Service. While she was there, she repeatedly petitioned the organization to let her work from home, but was denied. After being in a major car accident, she again petitioned to work from home, and was denied. She then filed a complaint, which, according to former coworkers who spoke anonymously to the AP, involved quite the Christmas list.
To settle the complaint at the immigration service, Kraushaar initially demanded thousands of dollars in payment, a reinstatement of leave she used after the accident earlier in 2002, promotion on the federal pay scale and a one-year fellowship to Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, according to a former supervisor familiar with the complaint. The promotion itself would have increased her annual salary between $12,000 and $16,000...
Kraushaar's story of the complaint differs. She says she doesn't remember asking for the Harvard fellowship or any of that other stuff. She also says that the complaint was "minor" and that she eventually dropped it. (I'm afraid we're not going to be able to know for sure who's telling the truth in this situation until we know the gender of the anonymous sources from the Immigration service, as it's a Cain-established truth that women tell lies and men tell facts.)
There's a chance that Karen Kraushaar is exactly what her detractors want her to be— a litigious pest that makes baseless claims in order to take advantage of a lawsuitphobic system to advance professionally and financially. But there's also the possibility that things were actually intolerable at two consecutive jobs held by the same person. It takes a lot of courage and tenacity to file a sexual harassment complaint against a male superior; someone with the gumption to do that might just be someone who refuses to stand by when things aren't suitable at their next job.
Further, what Karen Kraushaar did has nothing to do with the credibility of the other four women who have accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment, unless you believe that all women are connected by some magical lady communication tube wherein we psychically agree to take powerful men down in teams.
According to her lawyer, Kraushaar now wants to hold a joint press conference featuring her and the four other women (three of whom are currently anonymous) who have accused Herman Cain of sexual misconduct, and her efforts have gained some traction. She hasn't had luck getting the three yet-anonymous women on board, but reports say that she and fellow Cain accuser Sharon Bialek will hold a joint press conference as early as tomorrow or Friday.
Herman Cain accuser filed complaint in next job [Chicago Sun-Times]