Our Commitment

The State of Iowa executive branch is committed to providing a workplace free from sexual harassment.

Allegations of sexual harassment will be taken seriously and prompt investigation will occur.

Any form of retaliation against someone for resisting sexually harassing behavior, reporting a complaint under this policy, assisting the complainant, or cooperating in an investigation of a complaint is strictly prohibited, and may be unlawful.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Iowa Code section 19B.12 defines sexual harassment as "persistent, repetitive, or highly egregious conduct directed at a specific individual or group of individuals that a reasonable person would interpret as intentional harassment of a sexual nature, taking into consideration the full context in which the conduct occurs, which conduct threatens to impair the ability of a person to perform the duties of employment, or otherwise function normally within an institution responsible for the person's care, rehabilitation, education, or training.

There are two forms of sexual harassment:

  1. An employee is subjected to unwelcome speech or conduct of a sexual or non-sexual nature that is directed at the employee because of his or her sex, and the conduct creates a "hostile work environment."
  2. An employment benefit or continued employment is conditioned on the employee's participation in some form of sexual behavior. This is also known as "quid pro quo harassment."

Filing a Complaint

Any employee who believes he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment should immediately report the matter to his or her direct supervisor, the next higher supervisor, the agency director, or other designated agency personnel.

Alternatively, any complaint, including those regarding senior agency officials and directors, may be submitted directly to the director of the Department of Administrative Services or the Governor's Office without reporting the matter internally to the employee's agency.

Employees are encouraged to fill out the employee complaint form found on the DASHRE website. An investigation of a sexual harassment complaint will be undertaken, however, regardless of the manner in which the complaint is conveyed.

Complaints and records relating to complaints are confidential and not subject to disclosure under Iowa's open records laws.

Executive Branch Agency and Employee Duties and Responsibilities

Agency Responsibilities

Ensure managerial staff know, understand, and enforce the State of Iowa Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment for Executive Branch Employees.

Agency managerial staff shall immediately notify the Department of Administrative Services after receiving a complaint or alleged violation of the policy.

Provide the policy to new employees at the time of hiring or orientation as required by Iowa Code section 19B.12(5).

Employee Responsibilities

All executive branch employees are responsible for knowing and understanding the State of Iowa Policy Prohibiting Sexual Harassment for Executive Branch Employees, and for maintaining a work atmosphere free of all forms of sexual harassment.

If an employee experiences or witnesses any incident of inappropriate or unprofessional behavior in the workplace he or she believes may violate this policy, the employee should immediately report the incident and, if circumstances permit, express his or her concerns directly to the offending person.

Additional Resources

Nothing contained in the policy is intended to replace or deny any rights available under applicable local, state, and federal laws or regulations.

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunity Commission administer laws and regulations regarding employment discrimination and harassment, which include deadlines for filing discrimination complaints. For more information, these agencies may be contacted at:

Iowa Civil Rights Commission
Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-281-4121; 800-457-4416 (toll free) http:// icrc.iowa.gov

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Reuss Federal Plaza
310 West Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 500
Milwaukee, WI  533203-2292
Phone: 1-800-669-4000 (toll free)