DeEDWIN WHITE - Burlington
Appointed 1971
Term expires June 30, 1975
Retired postal worker

Vice Chairman:

Appointed 1969
Term expires June 30, 1973
Speech Therapist



Appointed 1965; reappointed 1967 & 1971
Term expires June 30, 1975
Law student

Appointed 1971 Interim
Term expires June 30, 1973

SAM BROWN - Council Bluffs
Appointed 1971 - Interim
Term expires June 30, 1973

Appointed 1972 - Interim
Term expires June 30, 1973
Director, Easter Seal Center

Appointed 1972 Interim
Term expires June 30, 1975


The permanent full - time staff positions include: executive director, compliance director, two field investigators, research and education director, affirmative action program administrator, and three clerical. In addition, two federal projects have been contracted for on a year-to-year basis. These projects are funded by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and provide for the following staff: (1) a field representative serving as project director to conduct a statewide affirmative action employment project; (2) an attorney to develop and coordinate legal techniques; (3) a secretary to provide clerical services.

Executive Director

Alvin Hayes, Jr.

Compliance Director

Ralph D. Barr

Research & Education Director

James D. Meimann

Affirmative Action Program Administrator
Maude White

Field Representatives
Felicia Mullin
Phyllis Franklin

Federal Project Directors
LaVerne Rens
Darold Luze

Sue Zylstra
Vernell Warren
Rona Green
Pat Bagby


jurisdictions: The Iowa Civil Rights Commission is a state agency established in 1965 to enforce the Iowa Civil Rights Act. The primary responsibility given to the Commission under the statute is to investigate and resolve complaints alleging unfair or discriminatory practices based upon:

age, race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, or disability

in matters of:

employment, housing (except sex and age), public accommodations (except age), and aiding and abetting.

A supplementary function is to plan and conduct programs designed to eliminate racial, religious, cultural, and intergroup tensions.

The Commission views the Iowa Civil Rights Act as requiring that a person neither be denied equal opportunity nor be given preferential treatment merely because of his age, race, creed, color, sex, national origin, religion or disability. When other relevant considerations are equal or similar, a decision (regarding matters in employment, housing, or public accommodations) must not be based upon a person's minority status -- but upon his or her personal merit.


Employment Jurisdiction: The Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965 as amended forbids discrimination in hiring, accepting, registering, classifying, referring for employment, discharging, and membership in labor organizations. The Act also forbids advertising or indicating in any manner that minorities are not welcome for employment or membership. The Act covers employers, employment agencies, labor organizations (and employees, agents, or members thereof). The Act exempts employers with fewer than four employees, religious institutions with bona fide religious qualifications, and employment in an employer's home or for personal services. In addition, sex discrimination is not illegal where it is based "upon the nature of the occupation," that is, where sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for the particular position in question.

Housing Jurisdiction: The Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965, as amended in 1967 ids discrimination in the sale, rental, leasing, assignment, or subleasing of housing accommodations and in the terms, conditions or privileges under which the above transactions are carried out. The Act also forbids advertising or indicating in any way that minorities are discouraged from seeking any of the above transactions. Parties covered include: owners and such persons acting for owners as real estate brokers or salesmen., attorneys, auctioneers, agents or representatives by power of attorney or appointment, and persons acting under court order, deed of trust, or will. The Act exempts religious institutions with bona fide religious qualifications, owner-occupied duplexes, and owner-occupied boarding houses with less than six (6) rooms. Age discrimination is not covered in housing, nor is sex.

Public Accommodations Jurisdiction: The Act forbids discrimination in accommodations, advantages, facilities, services, or privileges of any place of public accommodation. The Act also forbids advertising or publicizing in any way to discourage minorities from taking advantage of public accommodations. Parties covered include: owners, lessees, sublessees, proprietors, managers, or superintendents. The Act exempts religious institutions with bona fide religious qualifications, and rental or leasing of transient housing of less than 6 rooms if the owner or occupant resides therein. Age discrimination is not covered in public accommodations.

Aiding & Abetting Jurisdiction: The Act forbids any person to intentionally aid, abet, compel, or coerce another person to commit an illegal discriminatory practice. This section also
makes it unlawful for any person to discriminate against a person who has resisted or opposed illegal discrimination.


ANYONE in Iowa who believes he/she has been discriminated against may file a WRITTEN COMPLAINT with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Individuals wishing to file a complaint may do so directly at the COMMISSION OFFICE or may request Commission staff members to visit them locally to take the complaint. The complaint must be filed within NINETY DAYS after the alleged discriminatory incident.

Following the filing of a complaint, the Commission sends (by REGISTERED MAIL) a copy of the complaint to the respondent (the party being charged with discriminatory practices) together with a letter stating that the Commission shall conduct an INVESTIGATION of the charges. Cases are DISMISSED in which there is a finding of "NO PROBABLE CAUSE". If "PROBABLE CAUSE" (to believe the charges of discrimination) is found in the investigation, then VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE with the law is sought by efforts of conference, education, and persuasion, at a CONCILIATION MEETING. If a complaint cannot be resolved satisfactorily through CONCILIATION, then a PUBLIC HEARING on the matter is held by the Commission. All matters involving every charge are STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL until the convening of a public hearing.

At the public hearing, the Commission has the power to SUBPOENA records and witnesses, as well as to take testimony under OATH. The Commission makes FINDINGS of fact and law at the conclusion of that hearing. If no discrimination is found, the Commission may dismiss the complaint. If discrimination is found, the Commission may issue a CEASE AND DESIST ORDER to the respondent to halt the discriminatory practice and to take appropriate affirmative action.

If the Commission order is not obeyed, the Commission may go to district court for a COURT ORDER enforcing the Commission order. That court proceeding involves a trial DE NOVO, where the whole legal process begins anew. The Commission's ruling also may be APPEALED by either party to the district court. The ultimate court ruling (following possible appeals to higher courts) is final and must be obeyed. Violators of court orders are in CONTEMPT OF COURT, an offense punishable by law.


Two new amendments were added to the Iowa Civil Rights Act in 1972, becoming effective on July 1. These two amendments added jurisdiction over the areas of disability and age to the Act. These are important new protections for Iowa citizens who formerly had no legal recourse under Iowa law, against acts of discrimination. However, no additional funding was provided for enforcement of either of these provisions and, therefore, the hope engendered by these amendments remains unfulfilled. Until the Commission receives financial assistance to implement the Act., as amended, (including the sex discrimination amendment of 1970, which was never funded) then the hand of the law, outstretched to help those forced to bear the burden of discrimination, remains just out of reach, serving only to play a cruel hoax on these people and to mock the so-called "equal protection of the laws."


The amendment adding disability to the law, is one of the few such laws in the United States,, especially under the jurisdiction of a civil rights commission. A few states do have laws of some sort relating to disability, but they are usually very specific and limited.

The Iowa Law is the broadest such statute in the United States, in that there are almost no limitations to qualify for inclusion under the jurisdiction of the Act.

Disability is defined by the Iowa Civil Rights Act (in reference to employment) as "...the physical or mental condition of a person which constitues a substantial handicap, but is unrelated to such person's ability to engage in a particular occupation."

Thus anyone, with any kind of physical or mental handicap, can complain to the Commission about discrimination in employment, housing, or public accommodations. Since each disability is such an individual thing, each case must be considered on its own merits. Few generalizations can be made about the area of disability and thus few guidelines can be formulated to help the Commission expedite its enforcement procedures. The Commission does, however, make use of the available expertise by consulting with specialists in the particular area of the disability (Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, Vocational Rehabilitation, Commission on the Blind, Commission on the Deaf, etc.).

In the six (6) months of the Commission's jurisdiction, 32 complaints of physical disability and 5 complaints of mental disability were filed. Many and varied kinds of discrimination were alleged. Complaints relating to blindness comprise the largest single basis for complaints of disability discrimination. Complaints of physical disability on the basis of the following were also received: speech defect, heart murmur, diabetes, ulcer, arthritis, kidney problems, obesity, blood clot, back injury, leg injury, knee injury, shoulder injury, surgical problems, and general health problems.

Five complaints of discrimination on the basis of mental disability were received. Only two of them dealt with mental problems of the individual complainant. The rest (3) of the complaints dealt with problems an individual had encountered (especially in getting a job) because of the mental problems of one of the members of the person's family.


Discrimination on the basis of age became illegal in Iowa on July 1, 1972, under terms of the Iowa Civil Rights Act. This provision is one of the broadest in scope of any in the United States, for it forbids discrimination on the basis of age with no limitations, as, for example, are contained in the federal age discrimination law which is limited to persons aged 40-65.

Theoretically, therefore, the act covers everyone in Iowa who has attained the age of majority. Thus., complaints alleging discrimination where a person was denied employment for being too young, would be within the jurisdiction of the Act.

In 1972, the Commission received 5 complaints of age discrimination, the majority of which were based on the person being too old.

Age discrimination is not under the Commission's jurisdiction in the areas of housing or public accommodations.


Complaint: A written allegation of a violation of the Iowa Civil Rights Act. It is a formal charge which requires that certain procedural steps be followed, including a formal disposition. Can become either C.P.'s or N.J.'s.

N.J.'s: Designation given to complaints which are immediately (upon receipt by the Commission) found to NOT FALL WITHIN THE JURISDICTION of the Commission. They do not enter the formal case processing mechanism, are not given C.P. numbers and are closed at the next Commission meeting. (See note in Table A).

C.P.'s: Designation given to complaints which, upon preliminary observation, appear to fall within the jurisdiction of the Commission. They are thus given a C.P. (case) number and are entered into the formal case processing mechanism awaiting investigation. More detailed investigation may reveal that the Commission did not have jurisdiction, and thus C.P.'s can be closed for "no jurisdiction". (See note in Table C)..

Cases: Synonymous with C.P.'s. Complaints which appear to fall within the jurisdiction of the Commission and which are formally processed. Does not include N.J.'s or file matters, but does include cases closed for "no jurisdiction".

File Matter: Matters which come to the attention of the Commission involving possible violations of the Iowa Civil Rights Act, but in which no formal charge is filed.

ICRC: Iowa Civil Rights Commission

EEOC: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

N.P.C.: "No Probable Cause" to credit the allegations of discrimination.

With.: Withdrawn by complainant.

P.H.: Public Hearing

S.C.: Successfully Conciliated. Case closed on this basis when resolution agreed on between Commission and Respondent that will eliminate the discrimination and restore the complainant to his/ her rightful place, had not the discrimination occurred.

A.C.: Administrative Closure. The ICRC will take not further action in a particular matter unless such action is considered warranted.

1973 Annual Report Main Page