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Governor Reynolds recently signed several bills that will affect Iowa cities subject to Iowa Code Chapter 400 and 411. 

Iowa Code Chapter 400, governing civil service for Iowa cities, will be amended to allow procedures for a city to suspend the Civil Service Commission’s certification of entry and promotional lists.  Even if a city pursues a suspension of the certification of the entry and promotional lists, the city must continue to test applicants and those applying for promotion as required by the law.  Some of the pertinent changes are outlined as follows:

Iowa Code Chapter 400:

Iowa Code Chapter 400 will also be amended to provide that applicants who (1) have successfully completed training at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy (“ILEA”) or another training facility certified by the ILEA Director; and (2) have previously passed a civil service examination when the applicant was initially hired as a certified peace officer; and (3) have not had longer than a break of 180 days from prior law enforcement service, do not need to retake a civil service examination when changing employment from one Iowa law enforcement agency to another.

Finally, Iowa Code Chapter 400 will be amended to require mental health exams as part of the entrance exam for law enforcement officers and firefighters.

Iowa Code Chapter 411:

Iowa Code Chapter 411 will be amended to define “member in good standing” as only excluding those employees who have actually been discharged by the city from the definition.  Cities will want to review this statute’s impact on resignations in lieu of termination going forward.  Chapter 411 will also provide guidance for establishing a mental injury. 

Under the amendments to Chapter 411, cities continue to be able to fund the cost of hospital, nursing, or physical or mental medical attention pursuant to the statute through their group health insurance plan, but now are prohibited from requiring any cost-sharing for insurance premiums.  The amendments also prohibit cities from requiring those receiving hospital, nursing, physical or mental medical attention pursuant to the statute to pay the costs or premiums associated with any insurance policy.

Finally, under Iowa Code Chapter 411, cities are not responsible for any claims for newly discovered work-related injuries arising under this chapter which are filed after three years from the last day of employment of the employee.

For more information please contact Holly A. Corkery

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