Knowledge — 3 months ago

Iowa Labor Laws and Employee Rights in Iowa

by Rick S.

Iowa Labor Law, Iowa Labor Laws

What are Iowa Labor Laws?

Labor law is defined as the rights of employees and the rules and regulations put forth to protect them from employer retribution for exercising those rights. Labor laws also protect employers. In the U.S., labor law covers all facets of the legal relationship between an employer, employee and the labor union.

Iowa labor law
Labor law changes from state to state in the U.S. Employment standards are social norms in any state. These norms include minimum socially acceptable conditions for an employee to work. In Iowa, the labor law is governed and protected by the Division of Labor.

Child labor and teenage employees

The minimum age for employment in Iowa is 14. In Iowa, both federal and state child labor laws apply. The Division of Labor, Iowa protects children from hazardous jobs and from being overworked. Child labor law dictates

  • The hours of work
  • Work Timings
  • Type of job or occupation
  • Working hours during the school
  • A requirement of a work permit
Iowa Labor Law

Work permit applies to minors who are 14 or 15.  Every minor between ages 10 and 15 must have street trade permit to work in delivering the newspaper, magazines, or selling items door-to-door. Teenagers aged 16 and 17 have limitations in employment. They are not allowed to take hazardous jobs, cannot operate heavy machinery or take alcohol-related jobs opportunities. A certificate of age for 16 years and up has to be submitted to the employer. Iowa workforce development center and school officials issue work permit and certificate of age. Teenagers aged 18 or older have no restrictions under the child labor law.


Minimum wage in Iowa

In Iowa, both federal and state laws govern the minimum wage rate. Employers who are subject to the minimum wage act must pay the employees rate which benefits the employees. Since the Iowa minimum wage is lesser than the federal rate, employees must be paid according to the federal law. Iowa’s minimum wage law does not apply to

  • Business with gross sales of $300000 or less per year
  • A business engaged in cleaning, laundering, repairing clothes or fabric
  • Preschool elementary school and higher education
  • Public agencies
  • Construction and reconstruction business
  • Hospitals, institutions engaged in the care of aged or mentally ill

In Iowa, there are no laws governing the payment of overtime, and hence, federal overtime laws apply. Under the Federal Labor Standard Act, an overtime rate of one and a half times the regular pay has to be given to the employee more than the 40 hours a workweek of 7 days.

Iowa Labor Laws

Leave laws in Iowa

In Iowa, employers are not required to arrange for paid or unpaid vacation leave benefits, sick leave benefits, holiday leave, jury duty leave, and bereavement leave. Employers provide employees with voting leave. An employer has to enter into a contract or formulate a policy disqualifying employees from the above-mentioned leave and denying payment to accrued leave. In the absence of a contract or a policy, the employer has to pay accrued vacation upon separation from employment.

Discrimination and harassment

Both, federal and state law prohibits discrimination. Federal law prohibits employers from making employment decisions based on an individual’s religion, sex, race, nationality, age, disability, and marital status. Iowa protects employees from discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, and AIDS and HIV status. Iowa adopts both federal and state laws.

The Iowa state and federal laws prohibit harassment such as unwelcome comments, unacceptable behavior or conduct on the job. Sexual harassment is often in the form of unwanted touching and crude comments. It is the most well-known and unwelcome kind of harassment. Harassment of any kind is prohibited in the state of Iowa and punishable by law.

Layoff, termination or separation in Iowa

Iowa does not have its layoff laws. It enforces the federal WARN act. The federal government enforces a policy governing employers to provide notice to the employees in case of layoffs or going out of business. This law is called Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. Layoff notice refers to employers providing a specific amount of time to the employees before they are laid off.  The purpose of the WARN act is to ensure that the employee's transition time to adjust or accept the prospective loss of employment or to seek a new job.

Labor law bridges the gap between an employee and employer and facilitates the relationship between employing entities, trade unions, government, and the employees.

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