Dating subordinate employees

Laws About Relationships Between Employees & Supervisors

One thing that companies can do in order to protect the dynamics of the workplace and to foster a positive work environment is to adopt a company policy that prohibits dating between supervisors and employees. Also, requiring all managers to complete sexual harassment training as often as deemed necessary by the company's officers is a great tool. The relationship between a supervisor and an employee may not appear to be a problem at the time of the romance, or right after, but an employee can come back and claim sexual harassment even after the relationship has ended.

This can create quite a predicament for the organization, so it is best if the workplace adopts a policy to protect not only the employees but also the corporation from lawsuits or legal action taken by disgruntled or romantically heartbroken employees following a romantic entanglement.

Is a “Consensual” Relationship Between a Manager and a Subordinate Cause for Dismissal?

Jennifer Burton is a human resources professional based in California. She holds an M. Sexual harassment involving a supervisor and an employee is illegal. Play It Safe One thing that companies can do in order to protect the dynamics of the workplace and to foster a positive work environment is to adopt a company policy that prohibits dating between supervisors and employees. Video of the Day.

Manager & Employee Dating | xycajahegopi.cf

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. About the Author Jennifer Burton is a human resources professional based in California.

Should You Date Your Boss?

More Articles You'll Love. Definition of Insolence in the Workplace. Beyond these risks, the primary concern around workplace dating is that, one day, a participant in the relationship scorned or otherwise later claims the relationship was in fact a form of sex harassment.


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Notably for purposes of employee dating, there has also been some litigation surrounding "sexual favoritism," or the theory that it is unlawful discrimination for an employee to show preferential treatment to that person's romantic partner at the expense of other employees not involved in the relationship although -- full disclaimer -- courts are not uniformly aligned on this issue, and employers in many instances may have sound legal and factual defenses.

No matter how you look at it, both legal and practical risks abound when someone has to supervise or even indirectly analyze or critique the work performance of their special someone.

Harassment Claims and Preferential Treatment

With this legal backdrop in mind, here are a few tips for crafting non-fraternization policies: All the risks associated with interoffice dating are exacerbated when there is an inherent power imbalance between a supervisor and that person's subordinate. However, if you find yourself in a situation in which you believe you have no choice operationally but to allow such a relationship, actively manage the risk.


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  • Beware of Supervisor/Subordinate Affairs.

Do not bury your head in the sand and hope things work out. Make sure the manager has absolutely no input -- none whatsoever -- into the terms and conditions of their partner's employment. Lastly, in this context, you should give strong thought to having both parties acknowledge, in writing, the voluntary and consensual nature of the relationship. Provisions you might include in this document sometimes called a "love contract" are an acknowledgement of the company's anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies, an agreement not to engage in PDA in the office, and a commitment to inform the company if the relationship becomes "unwelcome" in any way, or if the employee believes they are subject to any form of retaliation or other inappropriate conduct.

Sexual Harassment Guidelines

If, however, you decide to allow some form of peer-to-peer dating, address it head on. Continue to encourage, and make it easy, for employees to report sex harassment complaints and continue to build a culture of shared responsibility. Although employee-employee relationships generally carry fewer risks than supervisor-employee romances, you may nonetheless consider utilizing some form of the "love contracts" described above.