Statutory Changes

Iowa Code, Chapter 601A: Amendments relating to unfair and discriminatory practices in housing were necessary to conform 601 A to the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, as enforced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These amendments define the terms "covered multifamily dwelling," "familial status," and "unfair practice;" provide that ft is an unfair or discriminatory practice for any person, not just an owner or agent of an owner to interfere with another person's housing or real estate rights; define provisions for the disabled; change allowable housing exceptions; address the election of civil action by a complainant; and address tenants who might be a direct threat.

Iowa Administrative Code 161-4.7 (601 A): provides for the assessment of costs of hearing. If the complainant or commission prevails at hearing, the respondent shall pay the "contested case costs." If the respondent prevails in the hearing, the commission shall bear the costs incurred. In the case of mixed results, the administrative law judge may recommend an equitable apportionment of the costs between the commission and the respondent. The allowable costs include the daily charge for the court reporter for attending and transcribing the hearing, mileage charges and travel time charges of the court reporter, cost of the original transcripts of the hearing, and postage incurred by the administrative law judge in sending by mail any papers which are made part of the record.

Related Legislation: Sexual Harassment. The General Assembly passed and the Governor signed Senate File 316, which prohibits a state employee from sexually harassing another state employee, a person in the care or custody of the state employee, or a person attending a state educational institution. This Act defines what would constitute "sexual harassment,' and directs state agencies within the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government to implement sexual harassment prohibitions and grievance procedures. Agencies and institutions are also to develop and distribute a guide for employees that describes the applicable sexual harassment prohibitions and grievance, violation, and disposition procedures.

Hate Crimes: The General Assembly passed and the Governor signed Senate File 2065, which makes changes in many parts of the Iowa Code regarding violations of individual rights. The Act defines "hate crime" as certain public offenses (such as assault, criminal mischief, arson, or trespass) committed against a person because of the person's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability, or because of the person's association with a person in these protected classes. The Act also requires the development of a training course for law enforcement personnel and prosecuting attorneys designed to sensitize those persons to the existence of violations of individual rights and on the investigation, identification and reporting of such violations of individual rights. (See "No Hate Crimes in Iowa!" section below.)

(For complete text of these statutory changes, contact the Commission office.)

1992 Annual Report Main Page