Employee dating relationships
You might have difficulty enforcing an outright ban on all workplace dating.However, employers generally may discourage workers from entering relationships when there might be a conflict of interest, such as a supervisor-employee relationship, or an HR-manager relationship.Keep in mind that some states prohibit employers from taking adverse action against employees for lawful off-duty conduct.
Even if the pairing goes well, it could lead to charges of favoritism from other employees.
But it seems many employers steer clear of legislating workplace relationships until they present some kind of problem for individual, team or organizational productivity.
No doubt, employee dating can carry some undesired consequences: If a relationship goes sour, the breakup can lead to charges of sexual harassment, retaliation and hostile work environment claims.
It can feel like an invasion of privacy – after all, aren’t two grownups entitled to conduct their romantic lives however they choose? That’s often slippery ground for supervisors who are far more comfortable with cut-and-dried topics like production numbers and scheduling. Office relationships are often the focus of intense discussion – which can lead to workplace distractions and even unprofessional conduct on the part of co-workers. Managers must make sure both the romantic partners and their co-workers understand that cooperation and productivity expectations remain unchanged, no matter how personal relationships may develop.
Managers aren’t the only ones who need to be aware of the rules surrounding workplace romance – employees do, too.
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If such a situation is uncovered, the company should immediately begin its normal sexual harassment investigation process.