Just as employees must weigh the career risks of entering into workplace relationships, managers should assess the risk of pushing employees away with overly strict policies; Review, revise and update discrimination and harassment policies, and always investigate all claims of sexual harassment; Never jump the gun on terminating employees for the reason that they have engaged in an inter-office relationship. To learn more about these types of legal issues, see our section on Discrimination and Harassment Laws. The court found that there were grounds for cause — relying on a line of cases that stand for the principal that managerial employees have an implied obligation in their employment contracts to ensure that the work place does not come poisoned due to sexual harassment, and to protect the employer from potential legal action for such harassment. In short, there really are no hard and fast rules when it comes to inter-office relationships, and it could very well depend on the specific workplace you find yourself in. While at one time it may have been common belief that any form of office romance was considered conduct to be frowned upon, it now seems that our attitudes regarding workplace dating are shifting towards a view of acceptance.
The Rules of Workplace Romance
Supervisors should also understand that even in a consenting relationship there are substantial risks of charges of sexual harassment or favoritism when supervision is involved.
Revised to clarify types employees of employees affected. Conflicts of interest can cause an employee to act out of interests that are divergent from those of his or her employer or co-workers. If you are in a workplace relationship and are uncertain of how any such policies apply to your circumstances, it is always a good idea to consult with a lawyer or your HR representative to seek clarity; If a policy requires that you disclose the relationship, ensure you follow the outlined procedures and processes before it becomes too late i.