In the initial comment in the Three Tips topic area I noted: "2. One powerful protection for employees in Iowa is the Wage Payment Collection Act, Chapter 91A of the Code. Basically, the law was passed and has been interpreted in a favorable way for employees to facilitate their being able to collect the wages due them when they leave their employment. Of course, the Devil is around there too, but the statute is fairly clear in its requirements. The best way to deal with disputes over who owes what, how much and when is to deal directly with your [former] employer, since lawsuits are unpleasant and perhaps even unnecessary."
The law is found in the Iowa Code and has been construed favorably toward employees, for good reason. It is also a fairly clear and defined law so that both parties to an employment relationship can know what the expectations are. Basically, the employer cannot usually withhold amounts from wages due but must pay the wages which are due after an employee is terminated, for whatever reason. There are exceptions to that rule, as pointed out in the text of the law. So, an employer trying to decide how much to pay the soon-to-be former employee might be wise to figure that out ahead of time and make sure the employee knows what he or she will be getting ahead of time. Employers are protected from liquidated damages where the dispute over what is due is legitimate, but the fact that attorney fees may also result from litigation might lead an employer to try to work out a settlement ahead of time for a relatively small amount.