Office Romance and Employee Dating Policy

Did you know that dating a subordinate or the boss is the biggest office romance no-no? Gerri Willis gave 5 tips for dealing with office romance last Valentine’s day, 14 February 2005 …

  1. Know the rules of romance … Check out your company’s employee handbook and take a good look around you. If no one dates or has dated, you could be in a strict environment …
  2. Consider the unintended consequences … Many employers don’t encourage office romance because if there is a disagreement or the romance fizzles, it can make for a very uncomfortable work environment for you and others …
  3. Steer clear of the absolute no’s … Don’t date a subordinate and certainly avoid the boss … For one thing, you could become the target of a sexual harassment suit …
  4. Keep it on the down-low … If you do find the love of your life a cubicle away, try to be discreet …
  5. Discuss the issues that might arise … If you’re the boss of two lovebirds, Challenger, Gray & Christmas suggests meeting with each separately, to discuss any possible ramifications …

Links:

  • Love on the company clock – 58% of employees have dated coworkers, 23% admit to trysts in the office, elevator, restroom, oh my. – by Sarah Max, 9 February 2005. «“At the Christmas party the second year into our relationship the CEO walked up to us and said, ‘It’s OK, you guys have done a good job and you don’t have to hide anymore,'” said Simmonds. “Then he sent out a company-wide memo saying dating in the office was not recommended.”»
  • Office Romance – Romance in the office can lead to marriage or to a lawsuit. – by F. John Reh. “Many companies tried to ban dating among their employees. Most have since abandoned that plan, because of legal restrictions and a recognition of the inevitable. Instead most now try to restrict such activities that are harmful to the business … For instance, it is never a good idea for a manager to be romantically involved with a subordinate in their own organization … A well-written, widely publicized, strictly enforced fraternization policy won’t prevent office romances from developing. It will, however, make life a lot easier, and less litigious, for you when you have to deal with it.
  • Rhodes College: Fraternization Policy – “Virtually all faculty members, administrators, and staff members are, or can appear to be, in a position to exercise power or authority, directly or indirectly, over students, whether or not an individual student is enrolled in their classes … Because of the commitment to maintaining an environment that supports our educational goals Rhodes College prohibits romantic, sexual, and exploitative relationships between college employees and students. In the event that any such relationship is reported and confirmed the college employee is subject to employee disciplinary procedures up to and including termination in the case of administrators and staff members, or dismissal for cause in the case of faculty members.
  • Employee Workplace Dating – by Gary Wikesland. “Before you ask the co-worker in the next cubicle out for a date, first check to see if your company has an employee dating policy … Develop an office relationship before you develop a romantic relationship. Take the time to learn as much as you can about the co-worker whom you are planning to date … These guidelines should help keep you from being accused of sexual harassment and make your employer feel more comfortable about employee dating.
  • Regulating Work Place Romance – by Randy Sutton. «Sexual harassment laws prohibit “unwelcome” sexual advances. Therefore, the participants in a truly “consensual” relationship cannot prove sexual harassment. The difficulty for the employer is proving that the relationship was consensual … An employer who wishes to do something about consensual relationships between employees has a couple of options. The first is to implement a “no dating” policy … As an alternative, some employers require that employees enter a “consensual relationship agreement.”»
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One Response to Office Romance and Employee Dating Policy

  1. Adam says:

    So far as I know, not many Malaysian organisations have a policy regarding office romance. Know of a few lecturers who married their students.

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