2 leave Iowa labor agency after hostile workplace complaints

An investigation that found a hostile environment at Iowa’s labor department prompted the state to cut ties with two top administrators, including the longtime chief regulator for workplace deaths and injuries.

The case has also produced a whistleblower complaint alleging Commissioner of Labor Michael Mauro and his deputy run the office “like a high school clique,” where friends receive favoritism and others are ridiculed and verbally threatened. So far, they have kept their jobs.

State agencies have kept the months-long investigation and upheaval inside the department confidential. But The Associated Press obtained records that paint an unflattering picture of the division that is supposed to protect workers from harm.

The case is a test for Mauro, 70, who has long survived as one of the few high-ranking Democrats in Iowa’s Republican-dominated state government.

Get your weather forecast from people that actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.