The Iowa Supreme Court has reaffirmed earlier rulings that limit the type of damages that can be paid in suits involving the violation of the Iowa Civil Rights Act. The case involves Tammie Ackelson, Robin Drake, and Heather Miller, employees of Manley Toy Direct, a business in Indianola that sells toys and other merchandise.
They sued claiming coworkers Tim Downey and Steffen Hampton repeatedly made vulgar and harassing comments that included sexually explicit language and demeaning names. The three asked only for punitive damages, or damages designed to deter such actions.
The Iowa Supreme Court ruling says Iowa law, and past court rulings have found awards through the Iowa Civil Rights Act are limited to actual damages caused by discriminatory or unfair practices. The High Court noted that there continues to be much discussion on the issue nationwide, and the Iowa Legislature has allowed punitive damages in housing discrimination cases.
But, the ruling says the legislature has not moved to change the awarding of punitive damages in other cases, so the district court ruling denying damages in the case is upheld.
See the complete ruling here: ICRA ruling PDF