Nate Willems

A win for workers at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

Nate Willems served in the Iowa House from 2009 through 2012 and practices law with the Rush & Nicholson firm in Cedar Rapids. This essay previously appeared in the Prairie Progressive.

In August 2019, I filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of several current and former employees of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. We claimed UIHC was violating Iowa law by holding on to certain wage payments for too long before paying. As UIHC had a common payroll practice, we sought to certify a class action. Eventually, the U.S. District Court authorized the class action, and we took on representation of 11,000 current and former UIHC workers.

There was never any allegation UIHC entirely refused to pay workers. However, Iowa law requires a regular payday be within twelve days after the end of the period in which the wages were earned. For as long as anyone could remember, overtime, supplemental pay, pay for shifts that went long, and other types of premium pay were paid one month late. 

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Indentured servitude in Iowa

Nate Willems served in the Iowa House from 2009 through 2012 and practices law with the Rush & Nicholson firm in Cedar Rapids. This essay previously appeared in the Prairie Progressive and the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

If you have never had to learn or appreciate what a non-competition agreement, or non-compete is, consider yourself lucky. These documents hold workers hostage to the whims of employers.

The idea that a non-compete is an “agreement” overstates things. Commonly, when a person gets a job, a non-compete is just another document the employer requires the employee to sign. The employer may or may not explain what it is. Whatever explanation an HR representative provides is not binding on the company. 

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Why I'm caucusing for Beto O'Rourke

Nate Willems: “Instead of looking for a candidate who appealed to my own sense of identity, I searched for the Democrat who is simply the best leader for Iowa.” -promoted by Laura Belin

I represent unions, injured workers, and workers with employment law claims. The work will drive you nuts and make you madder than mad, but the victories are incredibly rewarding. So, it did not surprise any of my friends when I would tell them I was excited by leaders like Sherrod Brown talking about the dignity of work. Senator Brown has a first-rate record of putting working families first, and he’s going to continue doing that in the U.S. Senate.

As we got into the spring and presidential candidates began popping up everywhere, I began to take stock of our wide, diverse field. I am a Tom Harkin/Paul Wellstone kind of Democrat, and I knew I was looking for a Democrat whose body of work as an elected official lined up with what I do as a lawyer. That proved to be harder than I thought. Ultimately, I decided I would support whichever candidate excited me and made it a priority to listen to working people.

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IA-Gov post-mortem: One mistake and two missed opportunities

Nate Williams is a labor attorney and served in the Iowa House from 2009 through 2012. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I am not sure whether to think of this as “three mistakes Fred Hubbell’s campaign made” or “one mistake the Hubbell campaign made and two missed opportunities.”

Either way, there are three things I wish the Hubbell campaign would have done very differently.

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David Young Introductory Video

(Interesting perspective from someone with experience as both a campaign staffer and a candidate. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

David Young and his campaign recently released an introductory video to youtube that runs about two and a half minutes.  The video is here.  I am sure I do not agree with Mr. Young on much and I have any number of critiques of his video.  However, it is a good video.  It does seem genuine; genuinely nerdy, but genuine.  

The biggest thing that struck me is the emotional experience of going back to your hometown to tell the people who will always know you best that you are going to ask them for their vote.  It is a combination of the beginning of a person’s biggest professional challenge in their lifetime with a “this is your life” trip bringing back personalities and memories from childhood.  David Young does not strike me a person who wears his emotions on his sleeve, but from personal experience I guarantee that this was a powerful event for him.  

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