POLITICS

Herman Cain accuser Karen Kraushaar filed complaint in next job

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Her complaint at the immigration service was based on supervisors denying her request to work fulltime from home after a serious car accident in 2002, three former supervisors said. Two of them said Kraushaar also had been denied previous requests to work from home before the car accident.

The GOP presidential hopeful now faces as many as five sexual harassment accusers. (Photo: Associated Press)

The complaint also cited as objectionable an email that a manager had circulated comparing computers to men and women, a former supervisor said. The complaint contended that the email, based on humor widely circulated on the Internet, was sexually explicit, according to the supervisor, who did not have a copy of the email. The joke circulated online lists reasons men and women are like computers, including that men are because "in order to get their attention, you have to turn them on." Women are like computers, it says, because "even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval."

Kraushaar told the AP that she remembered the complaint focusing on supervisors denying her the opportunity to work from home after her car accident. She said other employees were allowed to work from home.

Kraushaar, who is married and lives in suburban Maryland, was one of two women who formally settled harassment complaints against Cain in exchange for severance payments in the late 1990s when they worked at the restaurant association. Bennett has said Kraushaar settled her claim during the summer of 1999, shortly after Cain left the organization. Neither Kraushaar nor Bennett has described exactly what Cain was accused of saying or doing when she worked there. The New York Times has reported that Kraushaar received $45,000 in the settlement with the restaurant association.

Kraushaar agreed to discuss some aspects of the complaint at the immigration service if the AP agreed to protect her privacy, as it did in previous accounts of her complaint against Cain. She subsequently waived her privacy by confirming for news organizations her identity as one of two women who settled complaints against Cain, so the AP no longer is shielding her identity.

Cain said allegations of sexual harassment by Kraushaar – whom Cain identified by name in a televised news conference Tuesday - were determined to be "baseless" at the restaurant association. But he did not explain who made this determination, and Kraushaar has disputed this. Cain said that after negotiations between Bennett and the association's outside counsel she received money under an employment agreement, which Cain said was different from a legal settlement.

"When she made her accusations, they were found to be baseless and she could not find anyone to corroborate her story," Cain said.

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