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Nora Springs man accused of sexual harassment still employed at plant where incidents occurred

This news story was published on March 7, 2015.
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gavel-justiceLAWLER, IOWA – A Nora Springs man who was the focus of a sexual harassment lawsuit that cost a Chickasaw county ethanol plant well over $1 million appears to still be employed there.

Kevin Howes of Nora Springs remains listed at the plant manager at Homeland Energy, located in Lawler, Iowa, about 10 miles east of New Hampton.

In October of 2014, attorneys Roxanne Conlin and Brooke Timmer were successful in getting a verdict in favor of their client, Tina Haskenhoff, a woman from New Hampton. According to Conlin, the jury answered each question yes: Did she prove sex harassment? Did she prove retaliation? Did she prove she was constructively discharged? The jury awarded her $100,000 in back wages, $300,000 in past emotional distress damages, and $1 million in future emotional distress damages.

“She was the survivor of absolutely unbelievable verbal harassment focused on her breasts and buttocks,” Conlin said of the case. “I wont say what kind of things her boss, the plant manager (Howes), said to her and about her because this post is G rated, but it was truly dehumanizing. We loved her and the jury believed every single word she said because she told the truth about everything. We will be entitled to our attorneys fees and costs and to equitable relief to assure this company never ever does anything like this again and she is entitled to front pay. There is justice to be had in small town Iowa courts.”

Sources tell NIT that total costs to Homeland Energy may approach $2 million.

Homeland Energy continues to seek a new trial, but that may already have been denied by a judge as recently as last week.

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