Shepard Fairey, We the People, 2017. Courtesy: Obey Giant
Iowa Civil Rights Act
The "Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965" prohibits discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, credit, public accommodations and education. Discrimination, or different treatment, is illegal if based on race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, physical disability, mental disability, retaliation (because of filing a previous discrimination complaint, participating in an investigation of a discrimination complaint, or having opposed discriminatory conduct), age (in employment and credit), familial status (in housing and credit) or marital status (in credit).
The Iowa Civil Rights Commission serves all the people of Iowa, including the parties to complaints. Often these customers have competing interests. However, there are key expectations that these customers hold in common. These include:
- Neutral fact-finding agency
- Fairness and equality
- Accessibility to staff and the process
- Quality written analysis of cases
- Thorough job knowledge and performance of our duties
- Well reasoned decisions
The Iowa Civil Rights Commission is committed to improving the quantity and quality of the processing of complaints which will significantly increase our ability to enforce the ICRA. This goal can best be met by proper training, better oversight and holding individuals accountable for their performance. Additionally, the agency has implemented an investigative process that is flexible with more discretion to investigators rather than employing a "one size fits all" investigative approach. The agency also has provided new computers and updated software, increased access to legal research, and improved the general aesthetics of the office to enhance the staff's abilities to perform their duties.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or national origin in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance. All federal agencies that provide grants of assistance are required to enforce Title VI. The U.S. Department of Education gives grants of financial assistance to schools and colleges and to certain other entities, including vocational rehabilitation programs.
Examples of discrimination covered by Title VI include racial harassment, school segregation, and denial of language services to English learners. A fuller list of Title VI issues OCR addresses appears here. The U.S. Department of Education Title VI regulation (Code of Federal Regulations at 34 CFR 100) is enforced by the Department's Office for Civil Rights.
The Title VI regulation prohibits retaliation for filing an OCR complaint or for advocacy for a right protected by Title VI. Title VI also prohibits employment discrimination, but the protection against employment discrimination under Title VI is limited. As a result, most complaints OCR receives raising race, color, or national-origin discrimination in employment are referred to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
For more information on Education and Title VI please click here.
Links to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its implementing regulations:
COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act
COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act
This bill requires a designated officer or employee of the Department of Justice to facilitate the expedited review of COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) hate crimes and reports of COVID-19 hate crimes.
It defines COVID-19 hate crime as a violent crime that is motivated by two things: (1) the actual or perceived characteristic (e.g., race) of any person, and (2) the actual or perceived relationship to the spread of COVID-19 of any person because of that characteristic.
The designated officer or employee must periodically report on the status of each case reviewed.