Iowa employers are required to adhere to both federal labor laws and Iowa state labor laws. Federal labor laws set the basic requirements that must be met in every workplace. However, Iowa is free to exceed these minimum requirements and has done so in some areas.

Is There a Difference between Part-Time and Full-Time in Iowa?

Neither the state nor federal government has set legal restrictions or standards on what constitutes part-time or full-time employment in Iowa. Thus, each employer in Iowa has its own criteria as to what makes a person a full-time employee or a part-time employee.

What Is the Minimum Wage in Iowa?

In 2017, the minimum wage in Iowa went up to $8.50 an hour. It had previously been set to match the federal minimum wage, which is currently an hourly wage of $7.25.


The state of Iowa does not have a distinct overtime law of its own. Rather, Iowa relies on the federal standards on overtime pay as stated in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). According to the FLSA, a regular workweek consists of 40 hours within a consecutive 7-day period, and any time worked beyond those 40 hours counts as overtime. For that overtime, many employees are entitled to overtime pay, but some employees are not.

Health Benefits

In Iowa, there are no state laws mandating employers to offer any health benefits to their employees. However, the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) currently requires employers with at least 50 full-time employees to make health insurance available to most of their full-time employees or pay a federal tax penalty. With regard to part-time employee health care plans, the individual employer decides the guidelines and rules. Some employers offer such healthcare benefits, and some only offer benefits to full-time employees.


The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Iowa Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) are tasked with ensuring that no employee faces discrimination for a personal characteristic that is protected under federal and/or state law. Employers in Iowa are legally prohibited from making employment decisions based on the following personal characteristics:

  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • National origin
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Color
  • Age if one is above 40
  • Creed

Time Off

All companies in Iowa must adhere to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regarding medical, family, and emergency leave. The FMLA permits qualifying employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave off to deal with a medical or family emergency. Iowa employees are entitled to 8 weeks of pregnancy-related leave in addition to the leave they are entitled to under the FMLA, and employers are expected to treat pregnancy as a temporary disability.

Where Can I Find a Local Employment Lawyer to Help Me?

As an employee, you should feel free to exercise the rights granted to you under both Iowa and federal labor laws. If you believe your employer has violated your rights as an employee, contact an Iowa employment lawyer right away.