Workplace harrassment and dating

Without a clear policy, an office relationship can lead to charges of sexual harassment and legal consequences for the employer.

Although some companies chose to have no policy on dating, that leaves them open to potential liability if a supervisor is shown to have sexually harassed a subordinate, for example, by giving a poor performance review to a former partner.

With a notification policy, the manager the relationship is being reported to must also be required not to disclose the information, to protect privacy. Employers could potentially be barred from banning workplace romances as a violation of the employee's constitutional right to privacy.

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A subordinate employee may claim that he or she consented to a sexual relationship because he or she was threatened with a demotion or pay cut.

To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item.

Every company needs to consider a policy on workplace dating.

(To learn more about these types of legal issues, see our section on Discrimination and Harassment Laws.) We spend nearly a third of our adult lives at work, making workplace relationships nearly unavoidable.

At the onset of a romance, employees may not be thinking clearly.

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