Employer’s Council of Iowa is a group of employers who work in partnership with
Iowa Workforce Development to meet the workforce needs of employers. It provides
an employer perspective in advising IWD and other policy makers on the full
range of workforce issues and topics of concern to employers.
The mission of the
Employers' Council of Iowa is to support the efforts of local employers to:
Iowa Workforce Development, legislators, and other officials concerning its
products, services, and policies that affect employers; and
opportunities for employers to exchange information and develop education
programs for employers.
We link employers of small
to medium sized businesses in Iowa to resources and education to meet their
human resource needs. Working in conjunction with Iowa Workforce Development, we
conduct seminars and webinars on important topics such as employment laws,
employee benefits, human resource compliance, hiring techniques, unemployment
claims, immigration laws, and many more. And it costs you nothing!
for our free online newsletter and we will keep you current with information and
events hosted by ECI.
To find out more about the ECI, view our
Council Member List (.pdf).
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You can also contact:
430 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Phone: (515) 281-9654
Alternate Phone: (641) 792-7552 ext. 339
Fax: (515) 281-9640
of the Month
February 2014 - The National Career Readiness
The National Career Readiness Certificate uses three
foundational skill assessments to verify to employers that an individual has
essential employability skills.
National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) certifies workers as having key
work-ready skills and is a tool for businesses in Iowa to hire the best
while saving money and boosting productivity.
Demonstrating higher job skills means you have access to higher-paying jobs.
Employers are willing to pay higher salaries for higher skill levels.
According to ACT research, higher certificate levels lead to higher pay.
Wanted: Applicants with Certified Workplace Skills
Employers across the country report that they are often overwhelmed by
stacks of applications for only a handful of open positions. Sifting through
these applications is time-consuming and inefficient. Employers need a way
to quickly pinpoint individuals with essential, verifiable workplace skills.
That’s why they’re asking applicants to earn a National Career Readiness
can reduce hiring time and costs, training and turnover time.
The National Career Readiness Certificate is composed of three WorkKeys®
assessments that measure skills critical to on-the job success.
Applied Mathematics (AM)
measures the skills people use when applying mathematical reasoning,
critical thinking, and problem-solving techniques to work-related
Locating Information (LI)
- measures the skills people use when working with workplace graphics.
This includes; charts, graphs, tables, forms, flowcharts, diagrams,
floor plans, maps, and instrument gauges.
Reading for Information (RFI)
- measures the skills people use when they read and use written text in
memos, letters, directions, signs, notices, bulletins, policies, and
Listed here is a link that will show
NCRC Tests are administered in the Des Moines Metro Area and will
also provide instructions on how to schedule an appointment at the NCRC
January 2014 - Federal Bonding
What is Federal Bonding?
Federal Bonding is a program that
covers any person whose background usually leads employers to question their
honesty and deny them a job.
A Fidelity Bond is issued between
the employer and Department of Labor (DOL) that protects the employer
against theft, property damage etc.
What does Federal Bonding Program
Federal Bonding is beneficial to
both the employer and job seeker. The program gives employers peace of
mind they are covered in the event of any loss of money or property due to
employee dishonesty. At the same time it also provides applicants with
a greater variety of jobs with the potential of higher wages.
This provides an incentive for
employers to hire those with a risk factor. Thus, eliminates bonding
as a barrier to employment.
Which Job Applicants could benefit
from the Federal Bonding Program?
Ex-offender with a record of
arrest, conviction or imprisonment, on parole, probation or has a police
Recovering substance abusers,
Those with poor credit record
or declared bankruptcy,
Anyone dishonorably discharged
Persons who lack work history and are from low
What specific amounts & types of
coverage does the Federal Bonding Program offer?
The monetary coverage that a
Federal Bond offers is typically $5000 with coverage period of 6 months.
The type of bond offer in the Federal Bonding program is a Fidelity Bond.
There is no deductible to the employer filing a claim. In certain
cases, larger Federal Bond amounts can be considered. Once the start
date of employment has been set, the Federal Bond goes into effect
instantly. The Federal bond provides employers peace of mind that they
are covered in the event of any money and or property is stolen or damage
due to the employee dishonesty.
The Federal Bond is issued by the
local Federal Bonding Coordinator (Shan Seivert). Her contact
information is listed below. The Federal Bond is underwritten by the
McLaughlin Company based in Washington D.C. They will provide
employers a copy of their policies for employers to review.
How does one apply for the Federal
Either the employer or job
applicant can request the Federal Bond, preferably the employer. The
employer must make the applicant an offer with a set start date before bond
will be issued. The job start date is the effective date which the
bond will terminate in 6 months. After 6 months, continued coverage
may be purchased by the employer at regular commercial rate, if the employee
has exhibited job honesty.
Once the employer sets a start
date, the bond is issued instantly. Employer and job applicant sign no
papers and the bond is self-terminating. Federal Bonding can be also
utilized to cover current employee to secure a promotion to a new job or to
prevent a layoff.
Other useful information in
regards to Federal Bonding
Job applicants must meet legal
minimum working age of 16 in Iowa. However, there is no maximum age
limit. Federal Bonding does not cover self-employment.
Fidelity bond is only issued to an
employer who will automatically withhold the bonded employee’s Federal taxes
A Federal Bond can be issued for a part-time or temporary positions.
Point of Contact on Federal
Bonding with Iowa Workforce Development
Federal Bonding Coordinator
150 Des Moines Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Phone: (515) 242-0496
Cell: (515) 745 - 0299
Fax: (515) 281-9321
December 2013 – Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)
What is WOTC?
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program was created
to provide employers with a federal tax credit as an incentive to hire job
seekers in several target groups that have consistently faced significant
barriers to employment.
Who is assisted by the WOTC Program?
WOTC assists both employers and targeted job seekers.
Employers save as tax credits help reduce their federal business taxes & job
seekers qualifying as a member of one of the targeted groups gain an
advantage in the job market.
WOTC applies to new employees only and must be part of the
following targeted group which are:
- Individuals who meet the WOTC qualifications as
members of families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Veterans who meet the WOTC qualification guidelines.
- Ex-felons who meet the WOTC qualification guidelines.
- Individuals who reside in one of Iowa’s designated
Rural Renewal Counties.
- Individuals who have been referred to WOTC by Iowa
- Youth who are employed in the summer and meet the
WOTC qualification guidelines.
- Individuals who are members of families that are
receiving benefits from the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program) also known as food stamps.
- Individuals who are receiving Supplemental Security
Income (SSI) and meet the WOTC qualification guidelines.
- Individuals who meet the WOTC qualification
guidelines and are long-term recipients of the Temporary Assistance for
Needy Families (TANF).
Who doesn’t qualify?
How do employers apply for the WOTC Program?
There are two forms that must be submitted to WOTC for
each “new” employee:
- IRS Form 8850, Pre-Screening Notice and Certification
Request. This form was revised in June 2012.
- U.S. DOL, ETA Form 9061, Individual Characteristic
Form. This form was also revised in June 2012.
Then, the employer must mail or fax
the forms within 28 calendars days after the new employee’s start date
Iowa Workforce Development
ATTN: WOTC Unit
1000 E Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
FAX: (515) 242-0487
How much of a tax credit can I receive under the
The tax credit employers can claim depends on the target
group of the individual hired, the wages paid to that individual in the
first year of employment, and the number of hours that individual worked.
There is also a maximum tax credit that can be earned. This amount can
between $2400-to-$9600 per hire.
Who is the WOTC contact person with Iowa Workforce
November 2013 - The Ins and Outs of Workers'
is Workers' Compensation?
The Workers’ Compensation law requires most employers to
provide benefits to eligible employees who have injuries arising out of and
in the course of employment. Iowa Code 85.61(7)
What types of injuries are
In Iowa, "injury" is defined very broadly to include any
health impairment other than the normal building up and tearing down of body
tissues. The health impairment must be a result of employment activities.
Health impairment could also include not only physical
impairment but also mental health impairment as resulted for the “injury at
Diseases and hearing losses are also considered to be
injuries if they are a result of the employment activities or exposures.
Iowa Code 85A & 85B
An employee is not entitled to benefits for a preexisting
injury or disease unless it is aggravated, or worsened, by the employment.
Who is eligible for Workers'
Most employees who are injured in Iowa, working under
contract of hire made in Iowa, or whose employment is principally localized
in Iowa, are eligible for benefits if they have a job-related injury. Iowa
There are few classifications of employees who are exempt
from the law, and therefore not eligible for benefits, please consult with a
compliance administrator with the Division of Workers' Compensation.
Proprietors (independent contractors) limited liability
company members and partners are not considered employees but may elect to
be covered by purchasing a valid workers’ compensation insurance policy
specifically including the proprietor or partner. Iowa Code 85.1A, 85.61(13)
What types of benefits does the law provide?
The law provides for the payment of all reasonable and
necessary medical care incurred to treat the injury. This includes
reasonably necessary transportation expenses. Mileage for use of a private
auto is reimbursed at a rate set by the state of Iowa, currently at 56.5
cents per mile. Iowa Code (85.27)
Under certain circumstances an employee who has to leave
work for medical treatment may be eligible for payment of lost wages. Iowa
While a contested case proceeding or a dispute on
reasonableness of a fee is pending, the medical care provider cannot seek
payment of its charges from the employee. Iowa Code (85.27)
Total weekly compensation for any employee is not to
exceed 80% of the employee’s weekly spendable earnings. The law defines
"spendable earnings" as that amount remaining after payroll taxes are
deducted from gross weekly earnings.
The weekly amount of the disability benefit is determined
by the employee’s average gross weekly earnings, the number of exemptions,
and the marital status.
The weekly compensation benefit amount is based upon a
seven-day calendar week. The maximum weekly disability benefit rate for PPD
is $1419.00. The maximum weekly disability benefit rate of TTD, HP, PTD, and
death benefits is $1543.00. These rates are effective July 1.
Contact Information for
Division of Workers' Compensation
1000 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0209
Telephone: (515) 281-5387 or (800) JOB-IOWA
October 2013 -
Family and Medical Leave Act
Here is the Tip of
the Month from Employer Council of Iowa (ECI) for October 2013. The area
of interest is in the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
The Family and Medical Leave
Act of 1993 (FMLA)
FMLA is a U.S.
Federal law requiring covered employers to provide employees job-protected
and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons.
FMLA is a U.S.
Federal law requiring covered employers to provide employees job-protected
and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons.
medical and family reasons include: personal or family illness, family
adoption, or the
placement of a child.
in FMLA: Family members under FMLA that qualify would include children who are:
spouses of legally married heterosexual or homosexual couples, children who
are under the age of 18 and are biologically related, adopted, are in foster
care placement, or the in the process of being adopted of the individual or
individual spouse, and spouse or children of any age who are service members
of the U.S. arm forces who is recovering from an injury.
The Act allows
eligible employees to take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any
12-month period to attend to the serious health condition of the employee,
parent, spouse or child, or for pregnancy or care of a newborn child, or for
adoption or foster care of a child.
In order to be
eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must have been at the business at least
12 months, and worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work
at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75
To care for a
new child, whether for the birth of a son or daughter, or for the adoption
or placement of a child in foster care;
to FMLA: To care for a seriously ill family member (spouse, son,
daughter, or parent) (Spouse is defined as 2 individuals (heterosexual or
homosexual) who are legally married. (Note: Son/daughter has been
clarified by the Department of Labor to mean a child under the age of 18 or
a child over the age of 18 with a mental or physical disability as defined
by the American Disabilities Act, which excludes among other conditions,
pregnancy and post-partum recovery from childbirth)
from a worker’s own serious illness;
for an injured service member in the family
qualifying exigencies arising out of a family member’s deployment.
The FMLA further requires employers to provide for eligible workers:
The same group health insurance benefits, including employer contributions
to premiums, that would exist if the employee were not on leave.
Restoration to the same position upon return to work. If the same position
is unavailable, the employer must provide the worker with a position that is
substantially equal in pay, benefits, and responsibility.
Protection of employee benefits while on leave. An employee is entitled to
reinstatement of all benefits to which the employee was entitled before
going on leave.
Protection of the employee to not have their rights under the Act interfered
with or denied by an employer.
Protection of the employee from retaliation by an employer for exercising
rights under the Act.
Intermittent FMLA leave for his or her own serious health condition, or the
serious health condition of a family member. This includes occasional leave
for doctors’ appointments for a chronic condition, treatment (e.g., physical
therapy, psychological counseling, chemotherapy), or temporary periods of
incapacity (e.g., severe morning sickness, asthma attack).
information, please click on the link listed below:
Starting on 9/20/2013, all
employers and 3rd party providers will be required to use
http://www.myiowaui.org to file unemployment insurance
(UI) quarterly reports and submit new employer registrations.
Applications and quarterly reports that had been submitted by paper will no
longer be accepted. Some of the highlights with this new system
With this new system, there
is no added cost to the employer
The new system speeds up processing of Employer
Employers being able to access their account
Submit your quarterly UI report electronically and
have an electronic record of the submission. This will help
eliminate your account from being charged late report or insufficient
Employer can calculate taxable wages automatically
with the most up to date information
review payment history, view & printer letters/official documents from
IWD Tax Bureau, & review any account balances.
Provide authorizations to your account/3rd
party providers in assistance.
For more information, open up the