Iowa Civil Rights laws & HR compliance analysis

Iowa Civil Rights: What you need to know

The Iowa Civil Rights Act prohibits employers that regularly employ four or more individuals (including the state, labor unions, and employment agencies) from discriminating in employment because of age (18 years of age or older), race, creed, color, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability (including AIDS) (IA Code Sec. 216.1 et seq.).
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Gender identity. The Act defines "gender identity" as the gender-related identity of a person, regardless of the person's assigned sex at birth.
Sexual orientation. The term "sexual orientation" is defined to include actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality.
Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception. It is permissible to hire an individual on the basis of one of the protected categories because of a BFOQ. A BFOQ is a qualification that is absolutely essential to the employee's ability to perform the job in question (e.g., having a females-only policy for models in a women's clothing store). Such situations are rare, however, and employers should exercise extreme caution in relying on such a rationale when making employment decisions that have a discriminatory effect.
Qualified person with a disability. If a person with a disability is qualified to perform a particular occupation by reason of training or experience, an employer may not rely on the nature of the occupation as an exception to prohibited discriminatory practices.
Exception for religious organizations. The Act does not prohibit a religious organization (including church-affiliated schools) from making employment decisions based on religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity as long as the ...

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