Do I Have to Update My Workplace If I Get a Divorce?
Do you need to tell your employer about your divorce proceedings? What business is it of theirs, anyway?
As it turns out, although they don’t need to know all the gory details of your personal problems, there is some information your employer really does need to know.
Human resources issues
From a human resources perspective, there are things that your employer will absolutely need to know after your divorce.
For example, have you legally changed your name? Have you lost insurance through your spouse and now need to get coverage from your company’s health insurance plan? Have you moved and need to change your address? Will you need to change your tax status?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your human resources department will need to know.
When you report your divorce to your employer, stick to the facts concerning these issues. Your information must remain confidential with your company’s HR department, but if you have any privacy concerns, address this through an email to HR, and keep a copy for your records.
As you navigate your divorce, you might need to take time off work for court dates or meetings with attorneys or mediators. If you’re a parent, you may need to temporarily juggle your hours to meet new childcare responsibilities. Absenteeism can result, but if you explain it to your boss, they’re more likely to take a kindly tack.
And, if your divorce has been unusually acrimonious, it may affect your emotions and even the quality of your work.
If your employer knows you’re going through a tough time, this knowledge can help them understand why your level of productivity might go down or why you need to ask for a few more sick days right now.
Are you afraid of discrimination?
What happens if your employer treats you differently because of what’s going on in your personal life? While federal law doesn’t specifically address discrimination based on marital status, many state laws do. If your employer begins to treat you differently after your divorce, understanding your state laws will be of extra importance.
The divorce process affects your life in many ways, and what affects your life can also affect your work. Are you going through a difficult time with divorce? We can help.