Des moines employment discrimination lawyer

Employment discrimination law applies to decisions made by employers based on unlawful considerations. Iowa and federal law prohibit discrimination based on:

Employers cannot factor any of the above characteristics into employment decisions. Consideration of any of those characteristics, even if it's not the sole consideration, is unlawful. Because employers usually aren't obvious in their discrimination, we deeply investigate each employment situation that comes to our attention to determine whether there's any hidden evidence of unlawful employment discrimination.

Special Aspects of Iowa Employment Discrimination Law

Iowa law has additional prohibitions against employment discrimination that don't exist under federal law. Iowa prohibits discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation, which is not a right that federal law grants. And Iowa extends the protection against age discrimination to all individuals, not just workers aged forty and older, which is the minimum age for protection under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act.    

Disability Discrimination is a unique type of employment discrimination

Disability discrimination is a special area of employment discrimination law that's somewhat different from the others. First, not everyone is considered "disabled" within the meaning of disability discrimination law. A complex analysis goes into determining whether someone either meets the definition of disabled or is perceived or regarded as disabled by their employer. That threshold analysis isn't required for any other type of discrimination claim. Second, there's a claim unique to disability discrimination claims, called "failure to accommodate," that doesn't apply to any other type of employment discrimination.

Employment discrimination occurs in different ways

The prohibitions against employment discrimination apply to all of the major types of decisions employers make, including:

  • Hiring

  • Firing

  • Promotions

  • Disciplinary Decisions

  • Pay

  • Benefits

Other types of employment decisions may also implicate workplace discrimination laws. Each case should be evaluated on its own facts.

Several types of remedies are available for employment discrimination

The employment discrimination laws are written in a way that allows judges and juries to fashion the appropriate relief for each individual case. The different remedies available in employment discrimination cases include:

  • Past and future lost wages

  • The value of past and future lost benefits

  • The value of lost promotion opportunities

  • Emotional distress

  • Punitive damages

  • Court orders directing your employer to take certain action, such as reinstating you to your former position or firing or promoting you.

  • Attorney fees and expenses

The ability of a court to issue orders to your employer is particularly useful, especially for situations in which money damages won't necessarily address the situation. Oftentimes, it's not money that victims of employment discrimination seek. Rather, it's the satisfaction of being hired, reinstated, or promoted and achieving the employment success that should've occurred in the absence of employment discrimination.

Looking for more information?

We have considerable experience in employment law cases, having argued and won them in trial courts and appellate courts on behalf of various types of employees who contacted our Des Moines law firm. We have amassed a great deal of knowledge about all aspects of employment law through our work on behalf of those employees. We welcome you to share in some of that knowledge by reviewing various blog posts that we have made on employment discrimination topics.

Your attorney is waiting.

We make every effort to provide a same-day response to all communications received during weekday business hours. Initial telephone calls are always free. If it looks like we can help, it'll be our pleasure to meet with you, learn more about your situation, and lend you a hand. We handle as many of our cases as possible on a contingent fee basis, meaning that there's no fee unless we make a monetary recovery for you.


Erbe Law Firm 
2501 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50312
(515) 281-1460

Erbe Law Firm has proudly served clients throughout Iowa since 2005 from our Des Moines law firm. We look forward to hearing from you to see whether we can do the same for you.

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