Policy dating in the workplace

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  1. Policies About Workplace Dating | xiruhivuhy.tk
  2. No-Dating Policies
  3. Company Policies on Dating in the Workplace
  4. Dating danger? Businesses rethink workplace romance policies

In fact, some high profile couples -— Bill and Melinda Gates, for example -— began their romances in the office.

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Policies About Workplace Dating | xiruhivuhy.tk

While some companies are lax when it comes to relationships outside of work, others strictly prohibit off-hours fraternization between employees. In an era when sexual harassment is a real concern for organizations, the notion of two employees dating each other does have potential for some tricky policy questions. Some argue that if both parties are in a consensual relationship, what they do on their own time has no bearing on the company and should not be prohibited. Others argue that when two co-workers are in a relationship, it has the potential to create uncomfortable situations for everyone -— imagine a staff meeting where two team members have been arguing about their relationship, and those feelings spill over into the meeting -— and thus dating should be prohibited.

No one wants to hear about how a co-worker leaves his socks on the floor, or other more personal details. While dating is a concern to human resources departments, few companies have actually instituted policies regarding romantic relationships between employees. In fact, law professor Merrick Rossein of the City University of New York estimates that only about a quarter of all companies have such policies. Most company dating policies focus on the working relationship between the two parties; in other words, they prohibit supervisors or managers from dating their subordinates.

While most companies that prohibit dating among co-workers focus on the supervisor—subordinate relationship, some prohibit dating for other reasons.

No-Dating Policies

This is a written confirmation to management that any relationship taking place between employees is consensual. The contract may also include the employees' written confirmation that they have been informed of the company's dating policy and the behavior that is expected of them, such as refraining from any acts of retaliation if the relationship ends. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas may impact dating policies. The case, which struck down a Texas law banning consensual homosexual relationships, has been interpreted as upholding the right of all consenting adults to engage in private sexual activity.

Employers could potentially be barred from banning workplace romances as a violation of the employee's constitutional right to privacy.

Dating In The Workplace - 4 Tips To Increase Chemistry & HR Dangers!

According to attorney Ray Gallo, writing for the Daily Journal, forcing an employee to chose between their job and their partner would constitute an invasion of privacy, while a requirement to inform the company of a relationship would not. When writing a workplace dating policy, it is important to reduce your potential legal liability.


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Cohen suggests that banning or limiting dating between supervisors and subordinates is the most important aspect of a dating policy. Maria Stewart, a partner at Austin law firm Brown McCarroll LLP, suggests in the Austin Business Journal that policies on dating should include a way to report relationships that have turned hostile, and that employers must be on guard against any circumstances that could amount to harassment.

She argues that any policy must be applied consistently and should set out clearly how decisions will be made. Since graduating with a degree in biology, Lisa Magloff has worked in many countries. Accordingly, she specializes in writing about science and travel and has written for publications as diverse as the "Snowmass Sun" and "Caterer Middle East.

Skip to main content. On another occasion, Musovic fired an employee who wrote unwanted love letters to a co-worker.

Company Policies on Dating in the Workplace

Jacqueline Breslin, an executive with HR provider TriNet, is fielding more questions from businesses that want to know how to handle employees dating. The first step is often to determine whether companies have policies on dating and sexual harassment; if not, they need to be written. Dating policies should set expectations for staffers' behavior, such as that emotions should not be displayed at work. Policies must also address issues like relationships between supervisors and subordinates.

Some owners might be tempted to ban employee relationships altogether. But people attracted to one another may still date on the sly. And strict policies can backfire — talented employees may choose love over a job and leave.


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Problems can also arise when employees want to date clients or vendors. Those relationships have the potential for conflicts-of-interest as well as harassment issues. Ashley Hunter's dating policy rules out relationships between her eight staffers and vendors of HM Risk Group, an insurance company based in Austin, Texas.

Dating danger? Businesses rethink workplace romance policies

Hunter is especially sensitive to issues around dating co-workers, having been in a romantic relationship with her chief financial officer for three years. He's worked at the company for nine months, and everyone at the company knows of their relationship. One option for owners is to have dating staffers sign what's called a relationship contract, stating they're in a consensual relationship and that they've read and will abide by the company's written policy on sexual harassment.

Kate and Doug Hickey had two employees at Honolulu-based coffee grower Sunshower Farms — a supervisor and subordinate — who began a relationship in They had the couple sign a contract saying if the relationship ended and they couldn't work together comfortably, one would have to resign.