HANDLING HARASSING BEHAVIOR IN THE WORKPLACE
Question: An employee confided to our HR department about an incident that made her uncomfortable, where her supervisor made a comment about her skirt. How should we handle this?
Answer: A company has an affirmative duty to conduct a thorough investigation every time it is made aware that harassment may be taking place in the organization. Inappropriate sexual comments, discrimination based upon gender and/or sexual orientation, and inappropriate behavior all fall under the definition of illegal sexual harassment.
Transfer Flex Spending Account on Employment Termination
Question: Can an employee who terminates employment but still has money in his health flexible spending account (HFSA) continue to use it for claims? Or could that money be rolled over into his health savings account (HSA) with his new employer?
Answer: Internal Revenue Code § 125 regulations governing health flexible spending accounts (HFSAs) do not permit disbursements, transfers, or rollovers.
Mental Health in the Workplace
Question: We interviewed a recent college graduate that we would like to hire. During her interview, however, she told us that she is being treated for an anxiety disorder. How should we respond?
Answer: Mental health is an important topic, and one we’re finding should be front and center of discussion in the workplace. First, it’s important to note that while your candidate readily revealed her condition during her interview, your hiring team is not at liberty to discuss the issue or necessary accommodations with her until after she has accepted an offer of employment.
Gender Reporting and EEO-1 Survey
Question: How do we record a gender-neutral employee for EEO-1 reporting?
Answer: Until the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) addresses another gender or “nonbinary” option, employers are required to report all employees as either male or female, even when an employee chooses not to identify as one of the two genders.
Retired Military Applicant
Question: Are we required to ask a retired military applicant to provide a DD-214?
Answer: No, you are not required to ask a retired military applicant to provide a Form DD-214, and should only do so under limited circumstances. While the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) prohibits employers from discriminating against veterans of the uniformed services, employers may generally ask a veteran applicant about their previous military service in the same way they would ask about other aspects of the applicant’s employment history.