An Iowa employment contract helps employees understand the standards they are expected to meet while outlining the compensation they will receive. Employment agreements are signed by both parties after the job offer has been accepted.
For a contract to be valid in Iowa, three elements must be present: an offer, acceptance, and consideration  .
- Laws: Iowa Code Title III.
- Definition of Employee: § 91A.2(3): “A natural person who is employed in this state for wages by an employer. Employee also includes a commission salesperson who takes orders or performs services on behalf of a principal and who is paid on the basis of commissions but does not include persons who purchase for their own account for resale.”
Hiring in Iowa
There are several Iowa employment laws you need to know when hiring employees in the state, from the minimum wage to payday requirements.
Iowa is an at-will employment state. There are also exceptions to the at-will employment rules.
- Public Policy: Yes
- Implied-Contract: Yes
- Good-Faith Exception: No
Minimum Wage ($/hr)
Basic Minimum Rate (per hour): $7.25  .
Iowa requires employment certificates for minors under 16  . Age certification is not required by law, but it is common practice that agencies provide certification on request for minors under 16.
Both employment and age certificates are issued by schools and the Iowa Workforce Development Department.
In Iowa, employers must pay employees at least biweekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. Paydays must be regular and no later than 12 days (excluding Sundays and legal holidays) from the end of the period when the wages were earned. If the employer and employee mutually agree and create a written agreement, these requirements can be waived.
Meal and Rest Breaks
Iowa does not require minimum paid rest or meal periods.
Employers in Iowa must keep employee records on payrolls, collective bargaining agreements, and sales and purchases records for at least three years  and for:
- Safety & health/workers’ compensation
- Child labor
- Employee access to records
- Unemployment insurance (5 years)
Below, you can download an Iowa employment contract template in PDF or Word format: