Protection for Personal Liability

Caution: The following is a general description of Iowa law regarding protection of employees from liability. For information on interpreting the applicability of these sections to a particular case, please consult with the Office of University Counsel. Ultimately, the Iowa Department of Justice interprets and administers these sections of law.

Iowa law (Iowa Code Chapter 669) provides that employees and volunteers of the State of Iowa shall be protected from personal and property injury claims of monetary damage while acting in the scope of employment. The state of Iowa will pay such claims and will provide legal defense to employees and volunteers. The state's duty to provide the defense and pay such claims is conditioned upon the employee's cooperation in investigating and defending the claim. In addition, the state is not required to provide such protection if the employee's engaged in willful and wanton acts or omissions, or malfeasance. The Iowa Department of Justice provides the legal defense.

While volunteers are also generally covered under these provisions, protection may be denied when the volunteer has intentionally or knowingly acted improperly, or has derived an improper personal benefit from the volunteer activities.

Employees and volunteers may elect to seek their own legal advice and representation on claims made against them arising from employment by the University; however, normally the employee is responsible for the costs of such representation and advice.