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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 Iowa City Human Rights Commission within 300 days of the last alleged discriminatory act. Following the filing of a complaint, the Human Rights 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.

Complaint form  

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." 

Human Rights Commission

The staff of the Human Rights Division 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. 


Materials provided by this office can be made available in alternate format for individuals with disabilities upon request. Contact the Human Rights Office at  

Any visually impaired or hearing impaired person needing assistance to participate in a Human Rights activity, meeting or program should contact Human Rights at 319-356-5022 at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.