What is a "discriminatory practice?" In each of the five areas, a "discriminatory practice" is defined generally as an "incident because of a basis."
What is an "incident?" It is a decision or action, usually made by someone in authority, in one of the five areas, which adversely affects someone. "Failure to hire," "harassing conduct," "failure to accommodate," "unequal pay," and "termination" are considered incidents in employment. "Failure to serve" and "unequal service" are incidents in public accommodations. "Refusal to rent/sell," "unequal terms," and "eviction" are incidents in housing. "Refusal to admit," "harassing conduct," and "suspension" are incidents in education. "Refusal to extend credit" and "unequal terms" are incidents in credit.
What is a "basis?" It is a personal characteristic which is generally not to be considered in area-related decision-making.
What does "because of" mean? It means motivated by. If the basis was a motivating factor in the incident, then the incident is usually a discriminatory practice. There are two limited exceptions or defenses.
How do you know whether an incident occurred because of a basis? In determining whether the basis was a factor in the incident, investigators at the Iowa Civil Rights Commission usually collect and analyze four kinds of evidence.