Employment in Iowa

There are a huge amount of laws that govern interaction between employees and employers, both on the federal and on the state levels. Although even employment lawyers couldn't be expected to know every law, it's important for anyone seeking employment in Iowa to know the local laws on things like worker's compensation, sexual harassment, and other common issues. Understanding these laws can help you avoid potential problems, or, if problems are unavoidable, you will understand your rights and avoid being taken advantage of.

Discrimination Laws in Iowa

For those actively looking for employment in Iowa, or those who currently work and are hoping for a promotion, it's important to understand the state's anti-discrimination laws - they may not work exactly as you think. Employers are not bound by law to hire or promote the most qualified applicant - employment law doesn't say anything about qualifications. What it does cover is discrimination based on other factors: race, sex, religion, age, nationality, or disability. An employer isn't allowed to deny an employment or promotion based on these factors.

Understanding "At-Will" Employment in Iowa

Should you secure employment in Iowa, make sure you understand the terms of the employment. In the vast majority of cases, employment in Iowa is considered "At-Will," which means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time, for any reason that's not illegal. The exception to this is contract work, in which case the contract that you sign with the employer will determine the criteria under which employment can be terminated. Illegal reasons to terminate an employee include discrimination and violation of public policy, such as: the employee refuses to break a law, in retaliation for the employee filing a claim, or violating the employer's own set terms for terminating an employee.

What To Do If You're Terminated?

Should you be terminated from your employment in Iowa, you won't necessarily be left out in the code. The state provides unemployment benefits for people who meet certain criteria. The basic criteria for receiving unemployment aid are that you lost your job through no fault of your own, and were employed for at least 15 months prior to termination. In order to continue receiving unemployment benefits, you must register with an Iowa Workforce Development Center, and be actively seeking work. These benefits will help you and your family get by until such a time as you can find new employment in Iowa.

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