Employment Law Update: Romance in the Workplace: You, Me and our Employer?


As Valentine’s Day approaches, here are some interesting facts for employers to consider: Statistics indicate that over 10 percent of married couples met at work. Almost a third of respondents in a recent survey by Monster Worldwide indicated that they had had a relationship in the workplace; roughly half of those employees surveyed said they would be open to office dating in general.

Certainly, an “office romance” is not nearly as stigmatized as it has been in the past. To current generations, if it worked out well for Bill Gates, maybe it will work for them, too. However, company management, and even employees themselves, often fear that dating a co-worker can lead to workplace conflicts, distractions and, perhaps, even lawsuits. Those concerns heighten when the relationship involves employees with different levels of authority or unequal rank within the organization.

It is becoming increasingly common for companies to address, in advance, the issues and potential problems caused by workplace dating relationships. Some employers may consider it sufficient to adopt, publicize and enforce a general policy prohibiting harassment. For example...

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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