Favoritism, conflicts of interest, and even sexual harassment complaints can disrupt productivity and influence morale, especially if the relationship sours.She considers adopting a policy on workplace relationships.
Conflict of interest dating in the workplace
In 2006, a Vancouver man was accused of sexual harassment after he confused a subordinate's flirtations at the holiday party held by his employer, Marriott Hotels, with sexual advances.
Although there was no credible direct evidence of sexual harassment, the man, who was head of sales and marketing, knew that a junior female employee was drunk, followed her into a bathroom at an "after-party" at the hotel and later called her room, which prompted a B. Supreme Court judge to conclude in 2009 that the man was interested in pursuing a "sexual escapade" with a subordinate and that he had sexually harassed her.
If an employee is not comfortable reporting an incident to their supervisor, make sure the employee has the contact information for an HR representative or another manager trained to field the complaint.
If you receive a complaint or otherwise learn of a workplace relationship affecting the work environment, investigate promptly, thoroughly, and impartially. Interview the parties involved separately as well as any witnesses.
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, a small business owner overhears two employees discussing their upcoming date.
The business owner knows that office relationships can negatively impact the workplace.
The following are factors this business owner and other employers should consider before instituting a policy on workplace relationships: Look at your company culture and applicable laws to decide what type of policy makes sense for your business.
You might have difficulty enforcing an outright ban on all workplace dating.
But office romances between consenting colleagues are not illegal, and there are no statutes or laws against dating anyone at work.