Enforcement Powers: Case Processing
The Commission is empowered under Iowa Code, Section 601A.5(2), "(t)o receive, investigate, and finally determine the merits of complaints alleging unfair or discriminatory practices...'. The Compliance Division, under the management of the compliance 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.
Separate work units within the Compliance Division were designated to work in special areas such as backlog cases, newly-filed cases, age/ADEA cases, and housing/HUD cases. By the end of the fiscal year, fewer than 100 cases remained in the backlog of cases filed previous to 1988. Other staff were involved in mediation and conciliation, monitoring of agreements, public information, educational programs and staff training. In June 1991, investigative staff began training on performing the intake functions in anticipation of further changes within the division.
The Year's Work
A total of 1,282 new complaints were received during FY 91, which was an increase of 22.7% over FY 90. As in past years, the largest number of complaints was filed in the area of employment. A large group of complaints was filed alleging physical disability discrimination in health care facilities which resulted in the public accommodations area and the physical disability basis showing large numerical increases over the past years' patterns of complaints filed. During FY 91, a total of 1,172 complaints were closed.
Following are charts showing the breakdown of complaints filed and resolved.
Discharge continues to be the most frequently
alleged cause of action. However, the number of unequal services allegations
showed an unusual increase because of the large group of public accommodations
complaints mentioned above.
|Cause of Action||#||%|
|Terms and Conditions||195||9.8|
|Failure to Serve||184||9.2|
|Failure to Hire||137||6.9|
|Administrative Closure RTS*||142||11.3|
|Administrative Closure PS**||368||29.2|
|No Probable Cause||172||13.7|
|No Probable Cause/No Jurisdiction||2||<1|
|Probable Cause/No Jurisdiction||1||<1|
|Probable Cause/ No Probable Cause||23||1.8|
|Withdrawn/ Satisfactorily Adjusted||4||<1|
|Closure Before Hearing||4||<1|
|Closure Before Final Decision||1||<1|
Monies collected from respondents and paid to complainants as a result of a settlement agreement or final commission decision are called "annualized benefits." During FY91, annualized benefits totaled $427,193.66.
As in past years, the majority of
complaints filed have originated in Iowa's most populous counties. A
total of 58.7% of the complaints filed came from just six
counties. The ten counties with the most complaints filed are listed below: