Private employers. The Iowa Civil Rights Act prohibits wage discrimination based on sex, age, race, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability (including AIDS) (IA Code Sec. 216.6A). Under the law, it is a discriminatory practice for an employer to pay lower wages to an employee in a protected group than it pays to other employees within the same establishment for equal work on jobs requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility. Employers are prohibited from reducing any employee's wages to avoid violating the law.
An "unfair or discriminatory practice" occurs when:
• A discriminatory pay decision or other practice is adopted.
• An individual becomes subject to a discriminatory pay decision or practice.
• An individual is affected by the application of a discriminatory pay decision or practice, including each time wages, benefits, or other compensation are paid implementing in whole or in part the discriminatory decision or practice.
Defenses. Differences in pay are permitted if based on a seniority system, merit system, a system measuring quality or quantity of production, or any factor other than the age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability of the employee.
Remedies. Remedies for wage discrimination include double damages for the period during which the discrimination occurred, and in cases of a willful violation, treble damages (IA Code Sec. 216.15(9)(a)(9)).
Covered employers. The Act applies to all employers with four or more employees, including employment agencies and labor unions. Additional information on the Civil Rights Act is available.
Public employers. The Iowa ...