In 2022, Iowa’s state minimum wage in Indiana is $7.25 per hour.

The tipped minimum wage in Indiana is $4.35 per hour.

In calculating the overtime rate for the tipped employee, the restaurateur must multiply the minimum wage ($7.25 per hour) by 1½ (1.5), subtract the tip credit ($2.90 per hour), multiply that figure by the number of overtime hours worked, and then add that sum to their 40-hour total. 

Iowa has no laws mandating meal breaks for adults.  An employer does not have to pay you for a break during which you are completely relieved of your job duties.  Your employer can require you to stay on the business premises during your break.  Only the following breaks are required:

  •       Minors younger than 16 must be given a 30-minute break if they are employed five hours or more in a day.
  •       All employees must be allowed toilet breaks when needed.
  •       A union contract may require breaks and those requirements are enforced by the union.
  •       Certain other limited categories of workers, such as airline pilots, may be entitled to mandatory breaks under applicable regulations. Check with Iowa’s Division of Labor.

Employers must follow their own policies, practices or contracts regarding benefits. In  the absence of such an agreement, these benefits are not required.

For most employees-yes.  If you are an at will employee, an employer may change your work schedule, place of work, or job description without advance notice.

For most employees-yes.  Usually either an employer or employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all.  You may have grounds for legal action if the employer fires you:

  • Based on sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, pregnancy or physical or mental disability.  Contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.
  • For certain “whistleblower” actions such as filing OSHA complaints or speaking up in the workplace.
  • Contrary to an applicable employment contract.
  • For attempting to comply with applicable government regulations, such as health codes in restaurants.

If you leave employment for any reason, you are to be paid on the next regularly scheduled payday.

Items on the following list can be deducted from wages.

  • Taxes
  • Garnishments
  • Deductions for any lawful purpose accruing to the benefit of the employee if the employee has given written authorization for the deduction (for example, insurance, 401K, pensions, bonds and savings programs).

Items on the following list cannot be deducted:

  • Cash shortages in common money till.
  • Losses due to breakage, damage, acceptance of bad checks, and default of customer credit except in certain limited cases.
  • Lost or stolen property unless certain conditions are met.
  • Personal protective equipment in most cases.

For exceptions see Iowa Code Chapter 91A.5(link is external)

An employer may be held liable for the cost of bounced checks caused by the employer’s failure to pay. 

The employer may require employees to buy uniforms.  Deducting the purchase price of uniforms from an employee’s paycheck is not allowed if the uniform identifies the business through a logo or company colors.  Payroll deduction may be allowed if the uniform is generic clothing such as a white blouse or black pants.

A meeting or training directly related to a particular business must be paid.  Training that results in a portable certificate or license does not have to be compensated if it is outside of regular working hours and attendance is voluntary. 

Employment Law Firms

Ann Brown Legal


For over 12 years, Ann Brown has been representing families devastated by injury or death and employees who have been treated unfairly in cases in Cedar Rapids and throughout all of Iowa. As an Iowa personal injury lawyer and employment law attorney, Ann has a reputation for being honest, professional and most importantly always looking out for her clients. She stands with her clients throughout the entire path to recovery whether it is through a favorable settlement or a successful jury verdict.

Higgins Law Firm


At the Higgins Law Firm, PLLC, we are committed to representing individuals and families throughout Iowa facing challenges of workplace discrimination, harassment, inequality and other matters of employment law. We also assist people confronting criminal charges, accident injuries and other personal injury cases representing plaintiffs.