When hiring employees who reside and work in Iowa, your employee handbook must adhere to both federal and state employment laws. While employers aren’t required to create and distribute employee handbooks, they are required to implement and comply with a variety of policies in the workplace. Employee handbooks are a good resource because they allow employers to easily document the required policies and show that they have complied with applicable law.

Employee handbooks offer an introduction to the company, act as a resource for employees and managers, set expectations, explain important company policies, and mitigate your legal risk. However, if your Iowa employee handbook fails to comply with state-specific employment laws, you could leave your company open to significant risk.

To streamline the process and cater to every state’s different requirements, SixFifty has developed an employment documents platform. This tool assists employers in drafting custom, state-specific employee handbooks in all 50 states.

Here’s what you need to know about Iowa employee handbook requirements and how our platform can help.

Required Iowa employee handbook policies

Iowa requires employers to implement and comply with eight state-specific policies:

  • Business Expense Reimbursement Policy
  • Elected Official Leave Policy (for companies with 20 or more employees)
  • Holidays (Veterans Day) Policy
  • Jury Duty Leave Policy
  • Meal and Rest Breaks Policy (minors only)
  • Pregnancy Leave Policy (for companies with four employees)
  • Volunteer Emergency Service Provider and Civil Service Leave Policy
  • Voting Leave Policy
  • Witness Duty Leave Policy

Note that two of the policies have employee thresholds, and the meal and rest breaks policy only applies to minors. If your company doesn’t meet the thresholds or hire minors, you may not need to include them.

Optional Iowa employee handbook policies

In addition to the eight required employee handbook policies, Iowa employees are free to include optional policies like:

  • Affinity Group Policy
  • Arbitration Policy
  • At-Will Employment Policy
  • Background Check Policy
  • Business Expense Policy
  • Company Property Policy
  • Confidentiality and Trade Secrets Policy
  • Desk Hoteling Policy
  • Direct Deposit Policy
  • Dress Code Policy
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy
  • Electronic Devices While Driving Policy
  • Employee Benefits Policy
  • Employee Classification Policy
  • Employee Dating Policy
  • Employee References Policy
  • Employment of Relatives Policy
  • Exit Interview Policy
  • Gifts Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Immigration Law Compliance
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy
  • Leave Policies, including: Paid Sick Leave; Bereavement Leave; Organ, Bone Marrow, and Blood Donor Leave; Domestic Violence Leave; Crime Victim Leave; School Activity Leave
  • Marijuana Policy
  • Off-Duty Use of Facilities
  • Outside Employment Policy
  • Overtime Policy
  • Payment of Wages Policy
  • Payroll Deductions Policy
  • Performance Review Policy
  • Personnel Files Policy
  • Pets in the Workplace Policy
  • Progressive Discipline Policy
  • Public Relations Policy
  • Punctuality and Attendance Policy
  • Salary Pay Policy
  • Social Media Policy
  • Solicitation and Distribution of Literature Policy
  • Technology Systems Policy
  • Telecommuting Policy
  • Temporary Relocation Policy
  • Timekeeping Policy
  • Vacation/Paid Time Off
  • Video Conferencing Policy
  • Workers’ Compensation Policy
  • Workplace Violence Policy
  • Workplace Visitor Policy
  • Workweek and Work Schedules Policy

Depending on your organization type, structure, employment type and other factors, you may not want or need to include all of the optional policies.

Required federal employee handbook policies

Finally, if you choose to create an employee handbook, you should also include these mandatory federal employee handbook policies:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy
  • Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy (for companies with more than 50 employees)
  • Jury Duty Leave
  • Military Service Leave
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy
  • Religious Accommodation Policy

Employers in all 50 states are required to implement these policies, in addition to any that are required by the specific state(s) in which they have employees. Therefore, all of your employee handbooks should contain these federal policies (if your organization meets the 50-employee requirement for the FMLA Policy). 

How to create an Iowa employee handbook

Creating an Iowa employee handbook involves a time-consuming and costly process, even when aiming to include only the required state and federal policies. Any inadvertent violation of these laws could expose your organization to legal liability.

Some companies opt to hire attorneys to draft their handbooks, which is a legally safe option. However, when hiring in multiple states, billable hours are likely to accumulate quickly. On the other hand, attempting cost-saving approaches like using one-size-fits-all templates does not guarantee the inclusion of all the necessary policies and language to protect your organization.

In response to these challenges, SixFifty offers a better option. Instead of starting from scratch, using templates, or engaging attorneys, we’ve done the hard work for you. Our Employment Docs platform expertly guides employers through each stage of the employment life cycle, starting with offer letters and employee handbooks and concluding with separation and offboarding. Best of all, our legal team closely monitors changes to employment legislation nationwide. Should any changes occur, we promptly notify you, enabling you to regenerate and redistribute your handbooks. This is the easiest and most cost-effective way to create a handbook that fully complies with all federal and Iowa state employee handbook requirements.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo today!