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News Release

University of Northern Iowa Settles Alleged Family and Medical Leave Act Violations Found in U.S. Department of Labor Investigation

CEDAR FALLS, IA – The State of Iowa, Board of Regents - operating as the University of Northern Iowa - has entered into a settlement agreement to resolve alleged violations of an employee's protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as found in a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation.

WHD investigators determined that the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, failed to designate an employee's rights to FMLA leave properly when the employee requested such leave to care for an ill adult child. Instead, the employer terminated the worker's employment during what should have been a protected leave period.

In the settlement, the State of Iowa agreed to pay the custodian $59,688 in back wages and liquidated damages, and an amendment of the employee's personnel file to reflect her subsequent retirement.  

"The Family and Medical Leave Act protects employees in just this type of circumstance and allows critically needed workplace flexibility precisely when employees need it the most," said Wage and Hour Division Assistant District Director Adam Wombacher, in Des Moines. "We encourage employers to contact us for information to ensure they understand their responsibilities under the law. The Division provides a variety of tools for employers to ensure that they operate in compliance."

The state has also agreed to provide FMLA training to all supervisory employees in the university's custodial services and residence facilities administration as well as FMLA and American with Disabilities Act (ADA) training to the university's human resources department. The settlement agreement does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by the State.

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. Workers and employers with questions about the FMLA and all of the federal wage laws administered by the Division should call the agency's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). All calls are confidential. More information is available online at

Wage and Hour Division
March 22, 2019
Release Number
Media Contact: Scott Allen
Phone Number
Media Contact: Rhonda Burke
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