The Iowa Civil Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability (IA Code Sec. 216.1 et seq.). A written or unwritten employment policy or practice that excludes an applicant from employment because of the applicant’s pregnancy is a violation of the Act.
Employers that regularly employ fewer than four individuals are not covered under the Act, and individuals who are members of the employer's family are not counted as employees (IA Code Sec. 216.6.a).
Retaliation prohibited. It is unlawful for an employer to discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against a person because the person has opposed any of the discriminatory practices, obeys the laws against discrimination, or has filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any proceeding under the Act. (IA Code Sec. 216.11).
Genetic testing. A separate law prohibits employers from asking or requiring an applicant or employee to undergo genetic testing and from discriminating on the basis of genetic test results (IA Code Sec. 729.6). The law also prohibits employers from offering a prospective employee pay, benefits, or employment in return for the applicant's agreement to submit to genetic testing. As a general rule, asking applicants about genetic disorders or about test results would violate this law. The law applies to all public and private employers.
The BFOQ exception allows an employer to make an employment inquiry only where the inquiry is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the employer's business, and there is no less intrusive way to ensure ...