About Us

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission is a neutral, fact-finding law enforcement agency that enforces the "Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965," Iowa's anti-discrimination law.  The Commission does not provide legal representation.

The goal of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission is to ensure that people involved in civil rights complaints receive timely, quality resolutions.

The mission is: "Ending discrimination through effective enforcement of the 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
  • Timeliness
  • 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.