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How does Iowa law view wage discrimination?

All workers in Iowa are entitled to the same treatment under the law. That includes the freedom not to be discriminated against for any reason. If an employee faces discrimination due to his or her age, gender identity, sexual orientation, creed, national origin, color, religion or disability and is paid less in wages because of it when compared to other employees, it is illegal. There are many consequences an employer can face with this treatment of employees. It is vital for workers to understand what employers are not allowed to do and, just as importantly, what they can do in terms of paying wages.

If an employer discriminates against an employee for any of the above-listed reasons, it will be deemed unfair and discriminatory. Workers who are doing the same job as another worker who does not fit into those categories and the work requires the same skill, responsibility and effort in the same working conditions has the right to the same wages. Employers are not allowed to reduce the wages of other workers to coincide with the worker who is being discriminated against - this is not considered a remedy to the discriminatory practices.

Employers do have the right to pay employees less for viable reasons. That includes: if there is a seniority system in place; the wages are based on merit; the wages are paid based on productivity and the quality of that which is produced; or if there is a difference in wages based on factors other than those listed above. Employers who have fewer than four employees are not subject to this law.

People who get a job should be treated the same as anyone else and not be discriminated against because of factors over which they have no control. The law protects people from this level of wage discrimination. Although more attention is being paid to worker rights, that does not mean that ill treatment has stopped. When workers are subjected to any form of workplace discrimination with wages or any other issue, there could be the basis for a legal filing to be compensated.

Source: coolice.legis.iowa.gov, "216.6A Additional Unfair Or Discriminatory Practice -- Wage Discrimination In Employment," accessed on April 17, 2018

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