Statutory Changes: Several statutory changes were enacted by the Seventy-third General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Terry E. Branstad. The changes went into effect July 1, 1990.
The following paragraphs changed the length of time a complaint must be on file from 120 to 60 days before an administrative release (right to sue) is issued; limited the release period for a complaint that has been administratively closed to two years; and makes a copy of the case file available to either party (complainant and respondent) when an administrative release has been issued.
Section 601A.16, subsection 1, paragraph b, Code 1989, is amended to read as follows:
b. The complaint has been on file with the commission for at least sixty days and the commission has issued a release to the complainant pursuant to subsection 2 of this section.
Section 601A.16, subsection 2, Code 1989,
is amended to read as follows:
2. Upon a request by the complainant, and
after the expiration of sixty days from the timely
filing of a complaint with the commission, the commission shall issue
to the complainant a release stating that the complainant has a right
to commence an action in the district court. a release under this
subsection shall not be issued if a finding of no probable cause has been
made on the complaint by the administrative law judge charged with
that duty under section 60]A. 15, subsection 3, a conciliation agreement
has been executed under section 60]A.15, the commission has served
notice of hearing upon the respondent pursuant to Section 601A.15, subsection
5, or the complaint is closed as an administrative closure and two
years have elapsed since the issuance date of the closure.
Notwithstanding section 60]A.15, subsection
4, a party may obtain a copy of all documents
contained in casefile where the commission has issued a release to the
complainant pursuant to this subsection.
The law relating to unfair or discriminatory credit practices was amended to include familial
status as an illegal basis for differential treatment in consumer credit transactions, in extension of
credit by a state chartered financial institution, or in the offer of credit life or health and accident
Section 601A.10, Code 1989, is amended to read as follows:
It shall be an unfair or discriminatory practice
1. Creditor to refuse to enter
into a consumer credit transaction or impose finance charges
or other terms or conditions more onerous than those
regularly extended by that creditor to consumers of similar
economic backgrounds because of age, color, creed, national origin, race,
religion, marital status, sex, physical disability, or familial status.
2. Person authorized or licensed to do business
in this state pursuant to chapter
534, 536, or 536A to refuse to loan or extend credit or
to impose terms or conditions more onerous than those
regularly extended to persons of similar economic backgrounds because of
age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex,
physical disability, or familial status.
3. Creditor to refuse to offer credit life
or health and accident insurance because of color,
creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, age, physical
disability, sex, or familial status. Refusal by a creditor to offer
credit life or health and accident insurance based upon the age or
physical disability of the consumer shall not be an unfair or discriminatory
practice if such denial is based solely upon bona fide
underwriting considerations not prohibited by title xx.
The provisions of this section shall not
be construed by negative implication or otherwise to
narrow or restrict any other provisions of this chapter.
The law requires certain cities to maintain a local civil rights agency or commission and provide adequate funding for the agency or commission, and provide for the continuation in effect of certain local civil rights law. The act is to be repealed as of July 1, 1991.
Section 601A.19, Code 1989 is amended to read as follows:
601A.19 LOCAL LAWS IMPLEMENTING THIS CHAPTER.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of the general assembly to occupy the field in which this chapter operates to the exclusion of local laws not inconsistent with this chapter that deal with the same subject matter.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as indicating an intent to prohibit an agency or commission of local government having as its purpose the investigation and resolution of violations of this chapter from developing procedures and remedies necessary to insure the protection of rights secured by this chapter. All cities shall, to the extent possible, protect the rights of the citizens of this state secured by the Iowa civil rights Act. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as limiting a city or local government from enacting any ordinance or other law which prohibits broader or different categories of unfair or discriminatory practices.
An agency or commission of local government and the Iowa civil rights commission shall cooperate in the sharing of data and research, and coordinating investigations and conciliations in order to expedite claims of unlawful discrimination and eliminate needless duplication. A city with a population of twenty -nine thousand, or greater, shall maintain an independent local civil rights agency or commission consistent with commission rules adopted pursuant to chapter 17A. An agency or commission for which staff is provided shall have control over such staff. A city required to maintain a local civil rights agency or commission shall structure and adequately fund the agency or commission in order to effect cooperative undertakings with the Iowa Civil rights commission and to aid in effectuating the purposes of this chapter. Such agreements may include technical and clerical assistance and reimbursement of expenses incurred by the local agency or commission in the performance of the agency's or commission's duties if funds for this purpose are appropriated by the general assembly.
The Iowa civil rights commission may designate an unfunded local agency or commission as a referral agency. A local agency or commission shall not be designated a referral agency unless the ordinance creating it provides the same rights and remedies as are provided in this chapter. The Iowa civil rights commission shall establish by rules the procedures for designating a referral agency and the qualifications to be met by a referral agency.
A complainant who files a complaint with a referral agency having jurisdiction shall be Prohibited from filing a complaint with the Iowa civil rights commission alleging violations based upon the same acts or practices cited in the original complaint, and a complainant who files a complaint with the commission shall be prohibited from filing a complaint with the referral agency alleging violations based upon the same acts or practices cited in the original complaint. However, the Iowa civil rights commission in its discretion may refer a complainant filed with that agency to the commission for investigation and resolution. The commission may adopt rules establishing the procedures for referral of complaints. A referral agency may refuse to accept a case referred to it by the Iowa civil rights commission if the referral agency is unable to effect proper administration of the complaint. It shall be the burden of the referral agency to demonstrate that it is unable to properly, administer that complaint.
A final decision by a referral agency shall be subject to judicial review as provided in section 601A.17 in the same manner and to the same extent as a final decision of the Iowa civil rights commission.
The referral of a compliant by the Iowa civil
rights commission to a referral agency or by a
referral agency to the Iowa civil rights commission shall not affect
the right of a complainant to commence an action in the district
court under section 601A.16.
This Act applies only to an agency or commission
of local government in existence on the
effective date of this Act.
This Act is repealed as of July 1, 1991.
The Code editor shall editorially amend section
601A.19 in this Act to reflect this repeal by restoring the language
in the section to the language in the section as it appears in the
Code of Iowa 1989.
"Hate Crimes" legislation prohibits acts of assault and criminal mischief on the additional bases of sexual orientation, age or disability, provides victims actionable civil relief against offenders. establishes a program to monitor rights violations, and provides a penalty. A victim is not entitled to relief under this section unless they have exhausted all administrative review provided under Section 601A.
New Section. 80.40 CRIME INFORMATION
The department shall establish a program to collect, classify, and disseminate information relating to violations of section 729.5. Planning for this project shall be completed and data collection shall commence no later than January 1, 1991.
Section 729.5, Code 1989, is amended to read
729.5 PROHIBITING VIOLATIONS OF AN INDIVIDUAL'S
1. Persons within the state of Iowa have the right to be free from any violence, or intimidation by threat of violence, committed against their persons or property because of their race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability.
2. A person, who acts alone, or who conspires with another person or persons, to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate or interfere with any citizen in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to that person by the constitution or laws of the state of Iowa or by the constitution or laws of the United States, and assembles with one or more persons for the purpose of teaching or being instructed in any technique or means capable of causing property damage, bodily injury or death when the person or persons intend to employ these techniques or means in furtherance of the conspiracy, is on conviction, guilty of a class "D" felony.
A person intimidates or interferes with another person if the act of the person results in any of the following:
a. Physical injury to the other person.
b. Physical damage to or destruction of the other person's property.
c. Communication in a manner, or action
in a manner, intended to result in either of the
(1) To place the other person in fear of
physical contact which will be injurious, insulting,
or offensive, coupled with the apparent ability to execute the
(2) To place the other person in fear of
harm to the other person's property, or harm to the
person or property of a third person.
3. A person who maliciously and intentionally
intimidates or interferes with another person
because of that person's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin,
political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability
and while doing so commits any of the following acts, is guilty
of an aggravated misdemeanor:
(a) Commits an assault, as defined in section 708.1, upon that person or a third person.
(b) Commits an act of criminal mischief, as defined in section 716.1, upon that person or a third person.
4. The fact that a person committed a felony or misdemeanor, or attempted to commit a felony, because of the victim's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability, shall be considered a circumstance in aggravation of any crime in imposing sentence and fine. Evidence of such fact includes, but is not limited to, the burning of crosses and other symbols, and a rebuttable presumption of the fact arises where such an act is shown to have been committed.
5. A victim who has suffered physical, emotional, or financial harm as a result of a violation of this section is entitled to injunctive relief, general and special damages, reasonable attorney fees, and costs. However, a victim who is a member of a protected class and who has suffered physical, emotional, or financial harm as a result of a violation of this section which occurred because of the victim's status as a member of a protected class, shall not be entitled to any relief or damages pursuant to this subsection unless the victim has exhausted all administrative review provided for under 601A.
Upon finding that a discriminatory or unfair practice prohibited under chapter 601A has occurred, the remedies provided under that chapter are the exclusive remedies available to the victim.
An action brought pursuant to this subsection must be brought within two years after the date of the violation of this section. However, the filing of a complaint under chapter 601A tolls the statute of limitations for the purposes of the commencement of an action under this subsection.
6. This section does not make unlawful the
teaching of any technique of self-defense.
7. This section does not make unlawful any activity of any of the following officials or persons:
a. Law enforcement officials of this or any other jurisdiction while engaged in the lawful performance of their official duties.
b. Federal officials required to carry firearms while engaged in the lawful performance of their official duties.
c. Members of the armed forces of the United State or the national guard while engaged in the lawful performance of their official duties.
d. Any conservation commission, law enforcement agency, or any agency licensed to provide security services, or any hunting club, gun club, shooting range, or other organization or entity whose primary purpose is to teach the safe handling or use of firearms, archery equipment, or other weapons or techniques employed in connection with lawful sporting or other lawful activity.
This Act shall not be construed to establish any new category of individual rights not currently protected by the laws of this state or federal law, or to enlarge, diminish, or impair any right guaranteed by the laws of this state or federal law.
The Code editor shall amend the title of
chapter 729 by changing the word "civil" to "individual"
to reflect the changes made in this Act.