All bills passed by the Legislature and sent to the Governor for her signature during the 2018 session.
SF 2353—WIOA federal conformity
HF 2240—Electronic wage statements
HF 2297—Boiler steam pressure vessel inspections
HF 2321—IWD criminal background checks and unemployment changes
HF 2383—Employer alcohol testing
SF 2353 conforms Iowa Code to the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA). The bill adds definitions; makes changes to the conflict of interest policy for State Workforce Board members; updates the political and gender balance of the Board; and requires electronic posting of certain Board information.
The bill also makes changes to the membership of the local workforce boards; requires a majority of members representing business; makes the Chief Elected Officials responsible for appointees to the local boards, instead of the Governor; provides a list of functions to be carried out by local workforce boards; and makes changes to the political and gender balance of local boards.
The Iowa Department of Education will be the lead agency collaborating with Iowa Workforce Development on industry and sector partnerships.
HF 2240 permits employers to provide wage statements by secure electronic transmission or other secure electronic means, in addition to the option to provide the statement by mail or in person, or allow the employee to view and print the statement for free. If the employee can’t receive the statement electronically, they must notify the employer in writing at least one pay period in advance, and the employer will provide the statement by mail or in person, or allow the employee to view and print the statement for free. The wage statement must show hours worked, wages earned and deductions taken.
HF 2297 changes the threshold for inspections of boilers and how boilers in dry lay-up (inactive) are handled. Previously, internal inspections of steel hot water boilers were required once every six years and external inspections every year. Now, steel hot water boilers no longer need an external inspection in years internal inspections are conducted.
The bill changes the procedures for low-pressure steam boilers in dry lay-up. Previously, internal and external inspections were required every year boiler was in operation. Now, if a steam boiler is in dry lay-up, an internal inspection will be conducted.
Iowa law requires inspections for boilers above 50 gallons and 50,000 British thermal units in places of public assembly, which include:
- A building or structure primarily used as a theater, motion picture theater, museum, arena, exhibition hall, school, college, dormitory, bowling alley, physical fitness center, family entertainment center, lodge hall, union hall, pool hall, casino, place of worship, funeral home, institution of health and custodial care, hospital, or child care or adult day facility.
- A building or structure, a portion of which is primarily used for amusement, entertainment or instruction.
- A building or structure owned by or leased to the state or any of its agencies or political subdivisions.
The threshold for inspection id increased to 120 gallons and 200,000 British Thermal Units, which exempts at least 7,648 boilers from inspection. This is at odds with recommendations from the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors and the Iowa Boiler and Pressure Vessel Board.
HF 2321 requires Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) to conduct criminal history checks for current or prospective employees and contractors with access to federal tax information. The federal government requires these checks for positions with access to IRS-provided tax information. Iowa Workforce Development will pay for the background checks.
Previously, pensions paid to employees upon separation from employment were applied to an unemployment insurance claim, depending on the percentage that was contributed by the employer. Now the qualified retirement plan deductibility for unemployment benefits will apply only to 100-percent employer contribution plans.
The bill strikes language requiring employers to designate a period for the allocation of vacation pay to an employee who is laid off or separated from employment. Vacation pay to an employee will only be considered wages for the purposes of unemployment benefits for a maximum of five workdays.
The bill changes language on notice of an unemployment appeal hearing, adding clarity and a definite time frame. Previously, the appeal hearing could not be scheduled before the seventh calendar day after the parties receive notice. Now, the notice for the appeal hearing must be sent to all parties at least 10 calendar days before the hearing date.
Iowa Workforce Development may require a nonprofit organization with 15 or more full-time employees that elects to become a reimbursable employer to file a bond or security with IWD.
The bill changes the effect of unemployment benefits for past fraud or misrepresentation. Those who’ve committed and been issued an appealable decision of fraud are not be eligible for future benefits until they repay their fraudulent overpayment. Previously, they could opt to have future benefits reduced.
The bill eliminates the minimum wage qualifying threshold in the definition of “employer” for unemployment insurance taxes. The previous definition included a minimum amount of wages an entity must pay in a calendar quarter ($1,500) to be considered an employer.
HF 2383 relates to private employer alcohol testing of employees. Previously, if an employer had a policy on alcohol testing, it had to contain the standard for alcohol concentration that violates the policy. The standard could not be less than .04 (grams of alcohol per 210 liter of breath, or its equivalent). Now, the minimum standard permitted is not less than .02.