Des Moines Wage Lawyer

Wage claims in Iowa are governed by the Iowa Wage Payment Collection Law, Iowa Code Chapter 91A. Further wage guidance is provided by the Labor Services Division, which is part of Iowa Workforce Development. The Labor Services Division issues rules governing Iowa's wage law that are published in the Iowa Administrative Code.

"Wages" are generally defined as any compensation owed an employee by an employer, including regular pay, commissions, flat fee payments, bonuses, payments by the employer on the employee's behalf for insurance, pensions, and the like, and sick, vacation, or other types of paid time off. Between Iowa Code Chapter 91A, the Labor Services Division's wage regulations, and court decisions, Iowa has a comprehensive wage payment scheme, so it's difficult describe here every situation that might lead to a wage violation. You should consult an attorney if you have any questions about whether your employer is complying with Iowa wage law. But here are common examples of employer wage violations:

  • Not paying full earned wages.

  • Not paying wages in the timeframe or manner specified by Iowa Code 91A.3.

  • Not timely paying full earned wages upon termination, as required by Iowa Code 91A.4.

  • Taking unlawful deductions from an employee's wages in violation of Iowa Code 91A.5.  

  • Not compensating travel time as required by Iowa Code 91A.13.

Iowa also has a minimum wage statute, Iowa Code Chapter 91D. Iowa employers are also governed by the minimum wage provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Our firm has particular expertise in handling minimum wage cases on behalf of tipped workers who are not being treated properly under Iowa and federal wage law. This problem is particularly prevalent in the restaurant industry, as we wrote about in this article:  Treatment Of Tipped Employees Under Minimum Wage Laws

what money damages are available for wage violations?

The Iowa Wage Payment Collection law gives you powerful legal rights if your employer commits a wage violation. You can recover not only all the unpaid wages owed to you going back as many as two years, but in most cases also an additional amount, called "liquidated damages," up to equal to your unpaid wages. Iowa Code Chapter 91A further allows you to recover your attorney fees and litigation expenses in a wage law case.

would you like more information?

Our Des Moines law firm considerable experience in wage law cases, having argued and won them in trial courts and appellate courts on behalf of various types of employees. We have amassed a great deal of knowledge about all aspects of Iowa's wage law through our work on behalf of those underpaid employees. We welcome you to share in some of that knowledge by reviewing various blog posts that we have made on Iowa wage law topics. Here are a few examples that you might find helpful:

Common Employer Mistakes: Deductions Or Withholdings From Pay

Common Employer Mistakes: Payment Of Wages Upon Termination

Payment Of Unused Vacation Time Upon Termination

Payment Of Bonuses Upon Employment Termination

Federal Law Requires Pay For Most Interns

When Is A Real Estate Commission Earned?

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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