Work dating policies controlled separation dating
As long as employees interact with each other during the workday, there is always a chance that romantic relationships may develop.
This issue presents an interesting balancing act between respecting the privacy of employees and protecting an employer from legal liability.
When a workplace romance sours, it can expose the company to increased liability, since the connection between alleged actors is easier to establish--essentially giving the plaintiff some good ammunition for his or her case.
Relationships between supervisors and subordinates create even more potential problems.
But consider this: according to a recent Workplace Options survey, nearly 85% of 18-29 year olds would have a romantic relationship with a co-worker, compared to just over 35% for 30-46 year olds and about 30% of 47-66 year olds.
Even more shocking is that 40% of those 18-29 year olds would date their supervisors.
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The “love contract” option is a way to allow relationships with disclosure.
This is a signed document that confirms a consensual relationship and provides notice of understanding of sexual harassment policies and procedures.
The contract can also outline expectations regarding behaviors, including a ban on displays of affection in the workplace.
Even small companies without a formal dating policy generally have—or should have—a sexual harassment policy.
It may be enough to remind employees in a relationship of the specifics of such a policy.