Karen Kraushaar, who settled a sexual harassment complaint against Republican presidential frontrunner Herman Cain in 1999, filed a different complaint at her next job four years later, accusing a manager of sending out a sexually suggestive email and asking to be allowed to work at home after a car accident.
Kraushaar made the complaint, which did not involve a claim of sexual harassment, while working at the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 2003. Her lawyer was Joel Bennett, the same lawyer who had handled her harassment complaint against Herman Cain at the National Restaurant Association.
Kraushaar was injured in a car accident at an intersection in late 2002. After the accident, Kraushaar asked to be allowed to work from home. She filed the complaint when her repeated requests to work at home were denied, according to a former supervisor. The former supervisor told ABC News that Kraushaar wanted a "large payout" of tens of thousands of dollars, a year-long fellowship at Harvard, a raise and the reinstatement of sick leave.
Kraushaar, now 55, told the Associated Press she considered the complaint "relatively minor" and she later dropped it. "The concern was that there may have been discrimination on the job and that I was being treated unfairly," said Kraushaar, who also said she did not remember the specifics of her demands in the complaint. Bennett told the AP he could not comment on the complaint because it was confidential.
When reporters asked Bennett Wednesday if there was a "pattern" of complaints from Kraushaar, he said, "My client is 55 years old and she has been employed for approximately 30 years. During the course of employment sometimes people have complaints or grievances, and our position is that any other complaints or grievances that she's had in her lengthy employment career are irrelevant to whether or not this specific complaint in 1999 was baseless."
Kraushaar's former supervisor at the INS, who was named in Kraushaar's complaint, characterized the 2003 complaint to ABC News as "frivolous," and said Kraushaar may have been offered a few extra sick days as compensation.
The supervisor alleged that Kraushaar had a "poor work ethic."
The supervisor, a self-described Democrat, decided to speak out about Kraushaar's complaint because of "doubts about her credibility."
Maria Cardona, who also supervised Kraushaar at INS, told CNN that Kraushaar was an "ideal employee," and said her credibility was "beyond reproach."
"She was the utmost professional, one of the hardest working individuals I have ever known," said Cardona, "the consummate team player."
Three former supervisors confirmed the existence of Kraushaar's INS complaint to the AP.