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Human Rights Ordinance

It is unlawful to discriminate in employment, credit, public accommodation and education on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, discrimination in housing based upon race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, familial status, presence or absence of dependents, disability, gender identity or public source of income is prohibited.

It is also unlawful to retaliate against a person because such person has lawfully opposed any discriminatory practice.

A person claiming to be aggrieved by an unfair or discriminatory practice must initially seek administrative relief by filing a complaint with the Office of Equity and Human Rights within 300 days of the last alleged discriminatory act. Following the filing of a complaint, office staff conducts a thorough and impartial investigation of the allegations in the complaint. The complainant or respondent may request mediation of the complaint at any time during the complaint process prior to the probable cause determination. Mediation is not undertaken unless both the complainant and respondent agree to participate. Mediation may be discontinued at the request of either party. If the complainant and respondent do not reach a mediation agreement the complaint process shall continue to resolution.  

To view the City of Iowa City of Iowa City Human Rights Code, go to the City Code and click on "Title 2 - Human Rights." 

File a complaint

Complaint of Discrimination Form for Employment, Credit, Education or Public Accommodation

The staff of the Office of Equity and Human Rights investigate complaints, coordinate mediation, conduct conciliation, and enforce the provisions of the Iowa City Human Rights Ordinance contained in Title II of the City Code (and, by extension, the provisions of state and federal-level anti-discrimination laws).

Complaints of Discrimination must be filed within 300 days after the most recent discriminatory event.

Upon the filing of a verified complaint, the Human Rights Office will serve notice on the respondent. Notice shall include both a copy of the complaint and a statement of the respondent's procedural rights and obligations under the law or ordinance. Service shall be effected by certified mail within twenty (20) days of filing for complaints in the areas of employment, public accommodation, credit or education. (Ord. 15-4650, 12-15-2015). If applicable, verified complaints are cross-filed with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

Call 319-356-5022 or 319-356-5015 to speak with staff or email humanrights@iowa-city.org if you have any questions. 

For complaints in the areas of employment, credit, education or public accommodations, please fill out the online web form  or complete the printable, fillable pdf complaint form and email it back to humanrights@iowa-city.org.  

Complaint of Discrimination Form for Housing

The staff of the Office of Equity and Human Rights fice investigate complaints, coordinate mediation, conduct conciliation, and enforce the provisions of the Iowa City Human Rights Ordinance contained in Title II of the City Code (and, by extension, the provisions of state and federal-level anti-discrimination laws).

Complaints of Discrimination must be filed within 300 days after the most recent discriminatory event.

Upon the filing of a verified complaint, staff of the Office of Equity and Human Rights will serve notice on the respondent. Notice shall include both a copy of the complaint and a statement of the respondent's procedural rights and obligations under the law or ordinance. Service shall be effected by certified mail within seven (7) days of filing for complaints alleging discrimination in the area of housing. (Ord. 15-4650, 12-15-2015). If applicable, verified complaints are cross-filed with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

Call 319-356-5022 or 319-356-5015 to speak with staff or email humanrights@iowa-city.org if you have any questions. 

For Housing complaints, please fill out the online form here or complete the printable, fillable pdf complaint form and email it to humanrights@iowa-city.org.

Human Rights Commission

The Office of Equity and Human Rights works closely with members of the Iowa City Human Rights Commission to provide public outreach. The Human Rights Commission, through its educational efforts, furthers its goal of eradicating discrimination. An Annual Human Rights Awards Breakfast is held to recognize local persons and businesses that have significantly contributed to human rights in the Iowa City community. An Annual Human Rights Youth Awards Ceremony is held to recognize local youth for activities that promote human rights.