Many businesses find themselves having to conduct workplace investigations for many different reasons—from harassment to conduct-related issues. Knowing how to conduct a thorough investigation is key for reducing the amount of liability to which employers expose themselves. In this two-part series, we will explore the best practices for conducting a workplace investigation. In this first installment, we will talk about some of the things that an employer should know ahead of time, before an actual complaint necessitating an investigation is made.
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Although workplace bullying may be a new concern for some employers, others are all too familiar with its perils. Before we discuss facts of bullying, let’s look at its role in the workplace today. While bullying is not only a company culture issue, it is also a major liability concern for employers. Several states have litigation pending that would make bullying unlawful; California leads the way with its recent passage of A.B. 2053. This Assembly Bill requires covered employers to include prevention of “abusive conduct” in their mandated harassment prevention programs for supervisors.
The IRS recently issued a notice that provides transitional relief to small employers who provide reimbursements for their employees to purchase individual health insurance on the marketplace. With that relief, however, the IRS also clarified that the new interpretation disallowing reimbursements is broader than many realized.
Can an employer request photos from job applicants?
Answer from Albert C., one of our HR Pros:
While a photo for identification purposes could be taken or requested after an offer of employment, it would generally not be proper as part of a pre-employment inquiry. Information requested in the pre-employment process should be limited to information essential to determining if a person is qualified for a job and should be sought in a manner that minimizes the potential for prohibited discrimination.
Under the Affordable Care Act, are we required to contribute toward the health insurance premiums for our employee’s children?
Answer from Jessica W., one of our HR Pros:
While some employers are required to offer coverage to eligible dependent children of their full-time employees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they are not required to contribute toward the premiums of those dependent children.