Iowa Selection and Testing laws & HR compliance analysis

Iowa Selection and Testing: What you need to know

The Iowa Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on age (18 years and older), race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability (including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)), unless such factors are relevant to the job in question (IA Code Sec. 216.1 et seq.). The law specifically prohibits employers from advertising or publishing discriminatory employment preferences unless based on the nature of the occupation.
Employers may advertise and reserve positions specifically for individuals with disabilities, provided other suitable employment opportunities are available for individuals without disabilities.
The Act applies to all public and private employers with four or more employees. 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.
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Generally, employers may utilize professionally developed aptitude tests and other selection procedures if such tests are not designed, intended, or used to discriminate against a protected individual or group of individuals.
Iowa has one of the strictest alcohol and drug testing laws in the country (IA Code Sec. 730.5). Although state law does not require employers to test, it strictly regulates employers that voluntarily choose to implement a testing program. The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that in order to comply with the state's drug testing statute, an employer's written drug testing policy must describe the disciplinary actions the employer would take if an employee had a ...

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