You Have Rights When Your Work Ends!

Read this in: Spanish / Español
Authored By: Iowa Legal Aid


Has this happened to you? 

You live in a house, trailer, or migrant labor camp and you are fired or let go from your work. The employer tells you that you and your family need to leave camp within a certain number of days (many times the employer says you must leave in one or two days). Also, the employer possibly says that you will not receive your last paycheck until you leave camp. Sometimes, the owner threatens that the police will come to evict you, or sometimes the employer cuts services, like light or water. 


The Law Can Protect You: 

-You cannot be forced to leave until the owner of the housing unit goes to court and gets a “court order” (an order to evict) signed by a judge to evict you and your family. 

-The owner cannot use “self-help” to evict you:  He cannot remove your stuff, shut off lights or water, or change the locks (or put a padlock).  He must get a court order to evict. 

-The employer cannot keep your last paycheck to force you to leave. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS! 

-If you work temporarily or seasonally, you must receive your last check within one day (if you were fired) or three days (if you were let go). 

-If your employer promised you a bonus, you should receive the entire promised bonus if you work through the end of the season. 

-The law protects you and your family even if you don’t pay the rent for housing with cash income. 


Employers cannot discriminate or retaliate against workers: 

-There are laws to protect you if you think you were fired for any of the following reasons: 

-Because of your race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability. 

-If the employer fired you because you complained about a payment (if he/she paid you less than minimum wage) or other conditions not permitted by law. 

Last Review and Update: Oct 25, 2022
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