On Valentine's Day, Cupid Will Be Circling the Workplace-What Can Employers Do to Mitigate Risks?

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For employers, Cupid’s arrow only points one direction…..to the Company’s Sexual Harassment Policy. While Valentine’s Day may be a holiday to celebrate love and romance, it can quickly become an employer’s worst nightmare. Whether it is a consensual office romance between co-workers that has other employees feeling slighted or an innocent box of chocolates from a manager to a subordinate, this time of the year creates increased stress for employers about sexual harassment claims. According to data from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), 11,364 charges were filed in 2011 alleging sexual harassment in the workplace. Considering those statistics, and the increased number of employment related lawsuits in recent years, most employers discourage Valentine’s Day celebrations in the workplace.

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