Enforcement Powers: Case Processing
The Commission is empowered under Iowa Code,
Section 601A.5(2), "(to) receive, investigate, and finally determine
the merits of complaints alleging unfair or discriminatory practices...'.
The Compliance Division, under the management of the complaince director,
is responsible for the processing of the complaints. The full process includes
the following steps: intake, administrative review (preliminary screening),
investigation, finding by internal administrative law judge, conciliation,
public hearing and final Commission decision.
The staff layoffs which took place in August 1991 necessitated a reorganization of positions and functions within the Compliance Division. Three investigators were reassigned to perform intake duties. This, together with the loss of two investigators through layoff, one position which remained unfilled, and one resignation, resulted in a loss of investigative time and fewer completed investigations. The layoff of the receptionist made it necessary for other clerical staff to cover this task, causing less time to be available for support staff to assist the investigative staff. Ways to improve worker efficiency were explored and implemented, and the addition of more computers helped to ease the work flow.
Separate work units continued to function in specialized areas, such as backlog cases, newly-filed cases, age/ADEA cases, and housing/HUD cases. By the end of the fiscal year, the backlog of cases filed previous to1988 was nearly eliminated. Because of a large number of cases awaiting preliminary screening, a special team was formed in April 1992 to tackle this problem. By the end of the fiscal year, this logjam had been broken, and staff was much closer to goal of screening each case within 60 days after filing.
The Year's Work
During FY92, there were 1,562 new complaints filed with the Commission, which was an increase of 17.9% over the previous fiscal year. A total of 1,362 determinations were made during the year, which was an increase of 14% over the previous year. The following chart shows a trend of a rise in complaints in each of the last two years.
Following are charts showing the breakdown of complaints filed and complaint determinations during the fiscal year: Employment continued to be the area in which the largest number of complaints was filed. Sex, age, race and physical disability were the most frequently alleged bases for discrimination.
Discharge, or termination, is the most frequently alleged discriminatory incident. Surprisingly, there was not an increase in the number of complaints alleging sexual harassment, although there was an increase in the number of inquiries from both employers and employees about this type of discrimination. (See Education and Outreach section.)
|Failure to Hire||161||7.0|
|Terms and Conditions||138||6.0|
|Reduction in Hours||55||2.4|
As in past years, the majority of complaints filed have originated in Iowa's most populous counties. The ten counties with the most complaints file are listed below:
Service private employers were the most frequently named respondent in newly filed complaints. This reflects an increase in the number of service employers in Iowa in recent years.
|Service Private Employer||712||45.6|
|Manufacturing Private Employer||311||19.9|
|Real Estate Agent||6||<1|
|Adminsitrative Closure RTS*||239||17.5|
|Administrative Closure PS**||466||34.2|
|No Probable Cause||91||6.7|
|Probable Cause/ No Probable Cause||8||<1|
|No Probable Cause/No Jurisdiction||2||<1|
|Assigned for Public Hearing||13||1.0|
|Closure Prior to Hearing||10||<1|
Monies collected from respondents andpaid to complainants as a result of a settlement agreement or final commission decision are called "annualized benefits." During FY92, annualized benefits totaled $281,704.05.