Relationships Between Supervisors and Subordinates. While any relationship between employees may cause problems in the workplace, the. No one would say Megan and I are dating, so is our hookup a non-issue? why employers don't want their supervisors to date employees on their teams. your relationship cross the line between professional and personal. When a supervisor dates an employee it is never a private matter. So, from both the business and ethical perspectives—to keep your staff.
Indeed, relationships that begin as consensual between supervisors and subordinates may later form the basis of a lawsuit. Sexual Harassment If employers do not take swift, proper action upon discovering a romantic workplace relationship, they may be faced with claims of sexual harassment.
There are two types of sexual harassment. In one example of a workplace relationship forming the basis of a sexual harassment claim, Allan Samson hired Joyce Chan as his legal secretary and the two dated for two years.
She alleged that soon thereafter, Samson retaliated against her by changing the terms of her employment. Sexual Favoritism Employers must also be aware of any sexual favoritism that may result from romantic relationships.
Third party employees who are not involved in the relationship may be motivated to bring claims of sexual favoritism if they see a coworker receive job benefits as a result of being intimately involved with a supervisor.
Miller Anti-Nepotism and Anti-Fraternization Policies There are several steps employers can take to set standards of conduct for workplace relationships and manage office romances. Federal and state laws, as well as the California Constitution, generally prohibit employers from making employment decisions based on marital status.
Anti-nepotism and anti-fraternization policies, however, are permissible.
If a personal relationship in the workplace would affect supervision, efficiency, security, or morale, an employer would have a strong argument for implementing and enforcing anti-nepotism and anti-fraternization policies.
But guess who else could be liable? Are such relationships none of your business? Most employers recognize that people who work closely together often become intimate; a CareerBuilder survey found that 40 percent of office workers polled admitted to having dated a co-worker. And, 31 percent said the relationships led to marriage. Download Now His first comment addressed whether employers should just stay out of it. But a sexual relationship between a boss and a subordinate is definitely not private.
The relationship may be consensual at the start, but things can go wrong later. But employers absolutely must strive to discourage relationships in which the lower-level employee might feel pressured to begin or continue a romance with a powerful company employee. You can allow it, with written disclosure.
Dating in the Workplace: Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, If Coworkers Date, You Might Be Sued
This is commonly known as the "Love Contract" approach. A signed document will confirm a consensual relationship and provide additional notice of understanding of the sexual harassment policy. You can often use the contract process to outline expected behavior like no "PDA"--public displays of affection--at work or retaliation if the relationship ends.
Make sure that you inform the employees that they have a right to and should talk to a lawyer before signing.
You can allow it, but never within the chain of authority. While this policy is easier to sell to employees most are not inside each other's reporting chainyou still have a lot of the same problems about defining conduct and what is not allowed. You can also have employees report a romantic relationship to a company representative, like an HR official.
Having information up front will allow you to better respond to complaints of discrimination or favoritism. Make sure that your HR representatives understand they can't disclose the existence of the relationship to anyone unless it's necessary to respond to complaints.
Beware of Supervisor/Subordinate Affairs
Generally, policies cover not only employees, but also contractors, vendors, suppliers, manufacturers, and the like.
Essentially, any relationship between two people that could have a negative effect on the company if things sour, or if one party is able to improperly influence the other would fall under the policy.
One last generally acceptable rule: Even if it does not violate a written policy, your boss the CEO or the board might not care, and view it as a lack of senior management acumen. Think of it this way: Is the potential relationship worth risking your good job or name?
I tend to sound like a broken record when it comes to company policies.Boss and Employee Dating
So here it goes again: In my opinion, failure to equitably enforce a corporate policy is often worse than not having one.