As an employee, you are given certain rights to protect you from the exploitation of employers. In order to provide yourself with the best working conditions possible, inform yourself about the legal tools at your disposal.
If you receive an injury, become diseased or lose your hearing while on the job in Iowa, you are entitled to compensation. Usually this is done through an attorney and a settlement is reached. Under iowa workers compensation law, there are 6 types of settlements that can be approved: agreement, compromise, contingent, combination and lump sum payments. Sometimes, instead of a settlement, a commutation is agreed upon- a lump sum payment of future benefits.
Not all employers are subject to federal law; companies that do not participate in commerce across state borders are not subject to the National Labor Relations Act, which guarantees the rights of workers to organize and to bargain collectively with their employers. Iowa is a “right-to-work” state, meaning that it is not exactly pro-union. In fact, the state pushes union avoidance in order to undermine workers’ bargaining power and the effectiveness of striking.
The minimum wage in Iowa is $7.25. That being said, workers have the right to negotiate for a higher wage, or make a claim against unfair wages. The state has also passed into law the Fair and Equal Pay Act in an attempt to eliminate sex-based and other discrimination within the workplace. It states that employees of equal skill and experience cannot be paid different amounts, no matter gender, race or sexual orientation.
If you don’t know your rights, many employers are happy to take them away from you in order to make a buck. Most people spend the majority of their lives working, so don’t be afraid to fight for your security and happiness as a worker.