Discrimination at Work
You have the right not to experience discrimination in your workplace. State and federal statutes exist to protect you against discrimination.
If your employer is a public agency or a private employer who employs 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding year, you may be entitled to take unpaid leave for up to 12 workweeks. Leave can be taken for your own or a family member’s serious health condition, or for the birth or care of a newborn, adopted or foster child. This leave can be taken all at one time or it may be broken up throughout the year.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act offers protection against discrimination to Americans with mental and physical disabilities. The legal definition of “disabled” may be much more inclusive than you expect.
- If you are considered “disabled” under the ADA, your employer is required to provide you with reasonable accommodations.
The Iowa Civil Rights Act is found in Chapter 216 of the Iowa Code. It offers protection for discrimination against age, color, creed, familial status, gender identity, marital status, mental disability, national origin, physical disability, race, religion, retaliation, sex, and sexual orientation. Discriminatory protection by the Act includes employment, housing, public accommodation, education, and credit. Although not all classes are offered the same level of protection in each protected area.
Your employer must pay you in accordance with your agreement. Your employer is allowed to make certain lawful deductions from your wages, including taxes, garnishments, and things you have provided written authorization for. Wage collection is governed by both Iowa law and Federal law.
Terminations in Violation of Public Policy
Unemployment/Workers’ Compensation/Wage Disputes
- If you filed a claim for unemployment, workers’ compensation, or a wage dispute you may be protected from termination. Because you have a legal right to these remedies, your employer may not punish you for attempting to exert your rights.
- Employers may require employees to be drug tested, but they must have a written policy on the process.
State and Federal Rules and Laws
- Some federal and state laws provide for an employee’s protection when an employee exerts a federal or state right, or the law expressly prohibits termination if an employee does a specified action.
- If you make a complaint about or protested an actual or perceived violation, or if you participated in an investigation of an actual or perceived violation of a federal or state law, you may be protected from termination by whistleblower statutes.