Senate Labor Committee advances anti-employer billls

February 18, 2016

The Senate Labor Committee on Wednesday advanced SF 313, which requires “reasonable accommodations” for employees for medical conditions related to childbirth. ABI opposes the bill. The committee significantly amended the original bill to add definitions to the Iowa Civil Rights Chapter 216 and create a more robust statutory scheme surrounding pregnancy accommodations. The bill includes a broad definition of “reasonable accommodation,” and codifies several “unfair or discriminatory practices” for an employer. The burden is on the employer to show that a requested reasonable accommodation is an undue hardship, as defined in the bill. 

SF 2193, formerly SSB 3071, passed the Senate Labor Committee on Monday. The bill would cause a major shift in the way employers and employees work together to ensure equitable compensation. Among other things, the bill prohibits employers and potential employers from asking an applicant/employee for his/her compensation history or for requesting such information directly from a former employer without the applicant’s permission. If there is a complaint, the burden of proof appears to be on the employer. This bill creates an unnecessary intrusion into the hiring and compensation practices of Iowa’s businesses. It also establishes another costly government task force, and could lead to a potential costly burden for Iowa businesses for allegations of non-compliance.