House Study Bill 116 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1relating to providing family and medical leave for
2railroad employees and providing a penalty.
3BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  Section 84A.5, subsection 4, Code 2023, is
2amended to read as follows:
   34.  The division of labor services is responsible for the
4administration of the laws of this state under chapters 88,
588A, 88B, 89, 89A, 89B, 90A, 91, 91A, 91C, 91D, 91E, 91F, 92,
6and 94A, and sections 73A.21 and 85.68. The executive head of
7the division is the labor commissioner, appointed pursuant to
8section 91.2.
9   Sec. 2.  Section 91.4, subsection 2, Code 2023, is amended
10to read as follows:
   112.  The director of the department of workforce development,
12in consultation with the labor commissioner, shall, at the
13time provided by law, make an annual report to the governor
14setting forth in appropriate form the business and expense of
15the division of labor services for the preceding year, the
16number of remedial actions taken under chapter 89A, the number
17of disputes or violations processed by the division and the
18disposition of the disputes or violations, and other matters
19pertaining to the division which are of public interest,
20together with recommendations for change or amendment of the
21laws in this chapter and chapters 88, 88A, 88B, 89, 89A, 89B,
2290A, 91A, 91C, 91D, 91E, 91F, 92, and 94A, and section 85.68,
23and the recommendations, if any, shall be transmitted by the
24governor to the first general assembly in session after the
25report is filed.
26   Sec. 3.  NEW SECTION.  91F.1  Definitions.
   27As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise
28requires:
   291.  “Applicable monthly guarantee” means the minimum number
30of hours a railroad employer has agreed to pay the employee or
31the minimum number of hours a railroad employer has agreed to
32schedule the employee.
   332.  “Commissioner” means the labor commissioner, appointed
34pursuant to section 91.2.
   353.  “Eligible employee” means an employee, as defined in
-1-1section 91A.2, who performs regulated service for a railroad
2employer, has been employed for at least twelve months by the
3railroad employer with respect to whom leave is requested,
4and has worked or been paid for not less than five hundred
5four hours with such railroad employer during the previous
6twelve-month period or has worked or been paid for not less
7than sixty percent of the employee’s applicable monthly
8guarantee.
   94.  “Parent” means a biological or adoptive parent of an
10employee.
   115.  “Railroad employer” means an employer, as defined in
12section 9lA.2, that is a railroad which operates any form
13of nonhighway ground transportation that runs on rails or
14electromagnetic guideways.
   156.  “Serious health condition” means an illness, injury,
16impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves
17inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential facility
18or continuing treatment by a health care provider.
   197.  “Son or daughter” means a biological, adopted, or foster
20child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person
21standing in loco parentis who is under eighteen years of age or
22is eighteen years of age or older and incapable of self-care
23because of a mental or physical disability.
   248.  “Spouse” means a husband or wife.
25   Sec. 4.  NEW SECTION.  91F.2  Family and medical leave
26authorized.
   271.  An eligible employee shall be entitled to a total of
28eighty-four days of leave during any twelve-month period for
29one or more of the following:
   30a.  Because of the birth of a son or daughter of the employee
31and in order to care for such son or daughter.
   32b.  Because of the placement of a son or daughter with the
33employee for adoption or foster care.
   34c.  In order to care for the spouse, or a son, daughter,
35or parent of the employee, if such spouse, son, daughter, or
-2-1parent has a serious health condition.
   2d.  Because of a serious health condition that makes the
3employee unable to perform the functions of the position of
4such employee.
   52.  The entitlement to leave under subsection 1, paragraphs
6“a” and “b”, for a birth or placement of a son or daughter shall
7expire at the end of the twelve-month period beginning on the
8date of such birth or placement.
9   Sec. 5.  NEW SECTION.  91F.3  Leave requirements.
   101.  A railroad employer shall not be required to pay an
11eligible employee for any leave taken pursuant to section
1291F.2. However, an eligible employee taking a leave permitted
13by this chapter may elect to substitute for leave allowed under
14this chapter any of the employee’s accrued vacation leave or
15other accrued time off during this period or any other paid
16or unpaid time off negotiated with the employer. However, an
17employee shall not use sick leave during the period of the
18family and medical leave unless mutually agreed to by the
19employer and the employee.
   202.  If the employee’s need for a leave pursuant to this
21section is foreseeable, the employee shall provide the railroad
22employer with reasonable advance notice of the need for the
23leave.
24   Sec. 6.  NEW SECTION.  91F.4  Penalties — enforcement.
   251.  It shall be unlawful for a railroad employer to refuse to
26hire, discharge, fine, suspend, expel, or discriminate against
27any individual for exercising the individual’s rights to take
28leave pursuant to this chapter.
   292.  An employer who violates this chapter commits a simple
30misdemeanor.
   313.  The commissioner shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter
3217A to implement and enforce this chapter.
33EXPLANATION
34The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
35the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
-3-
   1This bill provides that railroad employees shall be entitled
2to take leave, including unpaid leave, for up to 84 days in
3a 12-month period because of a birth or adoption of a son
4or daughter or because of a serious health condition of the
5employee or the employee’s son or daughter, spouse, or parent.
   6The bill provides definitions for “applicable monthly
7guarantee”, “commissioner”, “eligible employee”, “parent”,
8“railroad employer”, “serious health condition”, “son or
9daughter”, and “spouse”. An eligible employee is defined as
10a person employed for at least 12 months by the employer and
11who has worked or been paid for not less than 504 hours with
12such employer during the previous 12-month period or has worked
13or been paid for not less than 60 percent of the employee’s
14applicable monthly guarantee. “Applicable monthly guarantee”
15is defined as the minimum number of hours a railroad employer
16has agreed to pay the employee or the minimum number of hours
17a railroad employer has agreed to schedule the employee. A
18“railroad employer” is defined as provided in the Code chapter
19governing wage payment collection as a person who employs a
20natural person for wages for a railroad.
   21The bill provides for how the leave will be taken, whether
22paid or unpaid, and that an eligible employee should make
23an effort to provide advance notice that the leave may be
24taken. The bill provides that a railroad employer who violates
25this Code chapter commits a simple misdemeanor. A simple
26misdemeanor is punishable by confinement for no more than 30
27days and a fine of at least $105 but not more than $855. The
28bill provides that the labor commissioner shall adopt rules to
29implement and enforce this new Code chapter.
-4-
je/rn