Can an employer ask to see an employee’s divorce papers?

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Can an employer ask to see an employee’s divorce papers?

My soon to be ex-husband and I both work for the same company. My manager would like to add me on full-time and has received approval from the store manager. Our HR department will not submit the status change to corporate until she sees a copy of the divorce decree. Can ask for this document? My ex and I have concerns about the private information in the divorce.

Asked on August 3, 2011 Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There are occasions where HR can require employees to present divorce records.  Usually, it does not apply to the promotion aspect, but rather to the benefits that come with the promotion.  If you were part-time, you probably were not entitled to as many benefits.  When you go full-time, you are entitled to more options.  For example, you may want to purchase health or life insurance.  If you were still married, your spouse is technically entitled to be named as a beneficiary on that policy since it was being paid for out of community funds.  However, you could exclude her as a beneficiary if you were no longer married.  If you are concerned about private matters, but need to show evidence of the divorce, talk with HR about what they are looking for specifically in the decree.  If they just want evidence of the divorce or obligations for insurance, then you may be able to submit a redacted copy.  Blackout all of the sections which contain private info that you do not need or want to share, and leave the rest in tact that satisfies the needs of your HR department. 


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