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Q&A: How to Handle Love at Work

Wednesday, December 13, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Allison Hudson
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With all of the discussion about sexual harassment in the news, I’m wondering how to handle situations where co-workers date.  Should we allow it? We don’t have a policy for dealing with situations like this.


It’s smart that you’re thinking about this!  Statistics show that 25% of workers have consensual relationships with a boss (yikes) or co-worker at some point of time in their working career, and 15% of employee romances end in marriage. You can try prohibiting it with a no-fraternization policy, but that will likely have little effect on the romance and will keep you out of the loop.  Instead, we recommend a Fraternization Policy, which each party should sign, specifying that: 1) the relationship is consensual; 2) relationships between manager-subordinates are prohibited under all circumstances; 3) the company is released from any and all claims of liability should the relationship head south; and 4) what behaviors are appropriate and which are unacceptable.   While no one likes having these conversations, given the reality of romance at work and the possibility of the relationship souring at some time, a solid Fraternization Policy is always a good idea!

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