Screening Standard

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission issues screening decisions based on the information collected to date. If the information indicates a “reasonable possibility” of discrimination, the Commission will “screen in” a case for further investigation. Iowa Admin. Code, ICRC Rule 161-3.12(1)(f). During the screening stage, the Commission draws all “rational, reasonable, and otherwise permissible” inferences in Complainant’s favor. Manning v. Wells Fargo Financial, Inc., 756 N.W.2d 480, 2008 WL 2902057, *2 (Iowa Ct. App. 2008) (unpublished) (citing Butler v. Hoover Nature Trail, Inc., 530 N.W.2d 85, 88 (Iowa Ct. App. 1994)); see also Peak v. Adams, 799 N.W.2d 535, 543 (Iowa 2011). Importantly, the Commission does not evaluate credibility at the screening stage, and instead evaluates only whether the stated facts create a “reasonable possibility” for a probable cause finding. The Commission relies in part on its own experience and expertise with the Iowa Civil Rights Act, while remaining mindful that many cases turn on circumstantial – rather than direct – evidence of discrimination. Ritz v. Wapello County Bd. of Sup'rs, 595 N.W.2d 786, 791 (Iowa 1999); see also Peterson v. Scott County, 406 F.3d 515, 520 (8th  Cir. 2005) (abrogated on other grounds by Torgerson v. City of Rochester, 643 F.3d 1031 (8th Cir. 2011)) and Haas v. Kelly Services, Inc., 409 F.3d 1030, 1034-35 (8th Cir. 2005) (abrogated on other grounds by Torgerson, 643 F.3d 1031).