Hr policies dating in the workplace. Human Resources.



Hr policies dating in the workplace

Hr policies dating in the workplace

However, employers may have another opinion on the matter. Many employers see the idea of employees dating one another as potentially threatening productivity or even opening up too much liability for the employer. But can they prohibit it? The employers may fear: These could occur if there is too much time spent on personal pursuits rather than work.

There could also be problems if the relationship becomes a distraction for other employees in any way. This may be a concern if a personal romantic dispute becomes violent. This is especially a risk if one of the partners is in a supervisory position or otherwise can grant favors for the other.

IN some areas, sexual favoritism is also illegal or could be deemed discriminatory. If the relationship goes sour, one partner or both may not be inclined to work cooperatively with the other. If escalated, it could even become a situation in which one former partner has the ability to demote, terminate, or give negative reviews to the other—all of which could lead to problems including lawsuits. Sexual assault or harassment charges.

If dating is allowed, it may foster an environment where more activity occurs that could give rise to a harassment claim. For example, if someone in a supervisory position requests dates as a prerequisite for positive performance reviews, that would be sexual harassment. Additionally, if a regular relationship ends, it could result in a situation where one former partner has a claim of harassment against the other.

Even regular relationship activities can create an atmosphere that promotes harassment of others. This is also a concern when the relationship is going well—a partner may feel their options are limited at the company due to the relationship.

Either way, higher turnover can result. Even in the absence of any illegal activity, it can still turn heads if a relationship is discovered, especially between a supervisor and a subordinate. This can cause other problems, such as loss of confidence from clients or shareholders.

So, can an employer do something about these concerns? Is it legal to fully prohibit employees from dating one another? Legally speaking, in most states an employer can enact a policy that prohibits employees from dating one another. Check your state and local laws for exceptions, which do exist and are usually centered on employee privacy or limitations for employers on prohibiting nonwork activities.

However, even if legal, banning any work romantic involvement can come with its own consequences. Many people meet at work before beginning a romantic relationship. Prohibiting it could decrease morale and could even result in losing employees who wish to date coworkers but cannot. In practical terms, it can be incredibly difficult to enforce, too.

Short of banning all workplace dating, here are some other options that many employers choose: Some employers limit the prohibition to only those relationships in which one romantic partner has a role of authority over the other. This minimizes many of the risks noted above without prohibiting dating altogether.

Another policy some employers opt for is prohibiting couples from working together directly, such as in the same department. Other employers opt for policies that do not ban dating, but instead merely discourage it. This alone can be enough to avoid some issues, but it stops short of being an actual prohibition. The problem, however, is that in the absence of a specific ban, what does the policy actually do?

Some employers simply require disclosure of relationships. After disclosure, the employer can take steps to minimize problems. For example, they may have couples sign acknowledgements stating that they will act professionally. That would be discriminatory. Be sure to check your local and state laws and consult legal counsel when necessary.

Bridget Miller is a business consultant with a specialized MBA in International Economics and Management, which provides a unique perspective on business challenges.

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"Can I date my cute student?" and other essential questions: HR Policies and Procedures



Hr policies dating in the workplace

However, employers may have another opinion on the matter. Many employers see the idea of employees dating one another as potentially threatening productivity or even opening up too much liability for the employer.

But can they prohibit it? The employers may fear: These could occur if there is too much time spent on personal pursuits rather than work.

There could also be problems if the relationship becomes a distraction for other employees in any way. This may be a concern if a personal romantic dispute becomes violent. This is especially a risk if one of the partners is in a supervisory position or otherwise can grant favors for the other. IN some areas, sexual favoritism is also illegal or could be deemed discriminatory.

If the relationship goes sour, one partner or both may not be inclined to work cooperatively with the other. If escalated, it could even become a situation in which one former partner has the ability to demote, terminate, or give negative reviews to the other—all of which could lead to problems including lawsuits. Sexual assault or harassment charges. If dating is allowed, it may foster an environment where more activity occurs that could give rise to a harassment claim.

For example, if someone in a supervisory position requests dates as a prerequisite for positive performance reviews, that would be sexual harassment. Additionally, if a regular relationship ends, it could result in a situation where one former partner has a claim of harassment against the other. Even regular relationship activities can create an atmosphere that promotes harassment of others.

This is also a concern when the relationship is going well—a partner may feel their options are limited at the company due to the relationship. Either way, higher turnover can result. Even in the absence of any illegal activity, it can still turn heads if a relationship is discovered, especially between a supervisor and a subordinate. This can cause other problems, such as loss of confidence from clients or shareholders.

So, can an employer do something about these concerns? Is it legal to fully prohibit employees from dating one another? Legally speaking, in most states an employer can enact a policy that prohibits employees from dating one another.

Check your state and local laws for exceptions, which do exist and are usually centered on employee privacy or limitations for employers on prohibiting nonwork activities. However, even if legal, banning any work romantic involvement can come with its own consequences.

Many people meet at work before beginning a romantic relationship. Prohibiting it could decrease morale and could even result in losing employees who wish to date coworkers but cannot. In practical terms, it can be incredibly difficult to enforce, too. Short of banning all workplace dating, here are some other options that many employers choose: Some employers limit the prohibition to only those relationships in which one romantic partner has a role of authority over the other. This minimizes many of the risks noted above without prohibiting dating altogether.

Another policy some employers opt for is prohibiting couples from working together directly, such as in the same department.

Other employers opt for policies that do not ban dating, but instead merely discourage it. This alone can be enough to avoid some issues, but it stops short of being an actual prohibition. The problem, however, is that in the absence of a specific ban, what does the policy actually do? Some employers simply require disclosure of relationships. After disclosure, the employer can take steps to minimize problems. For example, they may have couples sign acknowledgements stating that they will act professionally.

That would be discriminatory. Be sure to check your local and state laws and consult legal counsel when necessary. Bridget Miller is a business consultant with a specialized MBA in International Economics and Management, which provides a unique perspective on business challenges.

Hr policies dating in the workplace

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2 Comments

  1. Bridget Miller is a business consultant with a specialized MBA in International Economics and Management, which provides a unique perspective on business challenges. Policy Guidelines When writing a workplace dating policy, it is important to reduce your potential legal liability. Employers could potentially be barred from banning workplace romances as a violation of the employee's constitutional right to privacy.

  2. Use language that does not single out opposite-sex partnerships as the norm. Refer to previous page. These are characteristics that help determine whether or not a pair matches.

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