Iowa Legislature Kills Anti-Business Bills

Date: April 06, 2016

Paid sick leave, ban the box and more are defeated.

Iowa Legislature Kills Anti-Business Bills

Anti-business proposals including sick leave, “ban the box” and pregnancy accommodations were recently defeated in Iowa’s Legislature. Here’s a rundown of how these bills could have harmed your small business.

House File 2246: This bill would have required employers to give employees paid sick and safe time. “That’s an enormous cost to small business,” NFIB Iowa State Director Kristin Failor said. “We don’t like anything that increases cost for small businesses, and we don’t think the government should be telling our business owners how to run their business.”

Senate File 2243: The bill would have mandated paid time off for employees for issues relating to prenatal care. The legislation applied to both part-time and full-time employees, and prenatal leave would have been in addition to other sick leave the employer already offered. “Most business that offer paid time off already have that factored in,” Failor said.

Senate File 2240: More cities and states are jumping on the ban the box legislative bandwagon, prohibiting employers from asking a potential employee about his or her criminal record until later in the hiring process. However, this can waste both the employee’s and employer’s time, Failor said. Fortunately for Iowa business owners, the bill didn’t pass.

Senate File 2252: This legislation would have required employers to provide accommodations to new and expecting mothers. The bill expanded on Senate File 313 to change the burden of proof from employees to the employer. So, instead of an employee bringing in a doctor’s note outlining their limitations, employers would have had to check in with employees regularly to make sure their needs were being met. “It creates a problem where someone is going to get sued,” Failor said. “When they shifted that burden of proof, it puts employers in a really impractical situation.”

Senate File 2193: This bill would have prohibited wage questions between employers and employees and established an equal pay task force. “They ended up with a bill that really bound the employers’ hands about what they could verify,” Failor said. An equal pay task force would also have burdened employers and imposed unnecessary costs, Failor said.

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