Iowa Hiring laws & HR compliance analysis

Iowa Hiring: What you need to know

Discrimination. The Iowa Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on age, race, creed, color, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability (Iowa Code § 216.1 et seq.). According to rules issued by the state Civil Rights Commission, any preemployment inquiry that expresses directly or indirectly a limitation, specification, or discrimination as to a protected characteristic is unlawful unless based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) necessary for the job in question.
The law covers all employers with four or more employees. More information is available at the Iowa Discrimination and Disabilities (ADA) sections.
Veterans’ preference. Employers may grant preference to veterans, the spouses of disabled veterans, and the surviving spouse of a deceased member of the armed services who died during active duty at the time of military conflict or who died as a result of such service (Iowa Code § 35.3). In the state personnel system, veterans are entitled to preference in hiring (Iowa Code § 35C.1).
Credit reports. No law restricts employers from obtaining credit reports on applicants and employees, but an Iowa federal district court has held that an employer may be liable to an employee under an invasion-of-privacy claim for “misuse” of credit card records (Pulla v. Amoco Oil Co., 882 F.Supp. 836, 866-67 (S.D. Iowa 1994)).
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Blacklisting. Employers are prohibited from actively preventing or attempting to prevent, by word or writing of any kind, a former employee from getting subsequent jobs (Iowa Code § 730.1). More information is available at the Iowa References section.
Drug testing. Iowa has a ...

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