The Iowa Supreme Court’s opinion in Sims v. NCI Holding Corp., is a great example of the importance of complying with employee related statutes. Sims sued his employer for violating Iowa Code § 730.5 (drug-testing) after being terminated for testing positive for an illegal drug. Apparently, prior to the filing of the lawsuit NCI gave oral notice of Sims' right to a second test rather than written notice as required by the statute. It was ultimately determined that the employer did not wrongfully discharge Sims and was not required to pay Sims back pay or punitive damages or reinstate him. Because the employer failed to follow the requirements of the statute, however, it was ordered to pay Sims’ attorney fees and costs. The employer’s failure to follow a clear directive from the Iowa legislature likely cost it tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees. It may have only cost the employer a few hundred dollars to contact its attorney and ensure that it was complying with the statute.
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