Policy against dating in the workplace

19 Mar

If there are not policies, should there be set guidelines?

These are still questions that many companies are trying to answer.

Distribute written policies about the type of workplace conduct you expect from supervisors and employees.

For example, employers can expect employees to maintain a professional environment and refrain from public displays of affection while on-duty and on company premises.

However, employers generally may discourage workers from entering relationships when there might be a conflict of interest, such as a supervisor-employee relationship, or an HR-manager relationship.

Keep in mind that some states prohibit employers from taking adverse action against employees for lawful off-duty conduct.

The fact that two individuals have been in a consensual sexual relationship does not mean that sexual harassment may not occur following the end of the relationship.

Example: A young employee and her boss engaged in consensual sexual intercourse on four occasions.

That is to say, the employer does not need admissions from the employees, or explicit emails, or video evidence.Sexual harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour where a reasonable person would have anticipated the possibility that the person harassed would feel offended, humiliated or intimidated.It has nothing to do with mutual attraction or consensual behaviour.If indeed that’s how your company does it, that’s sex discrimination and is illegal.(Or at least it’s illegal if your company is big enough to be covered by federal discrimination statutes — meaning that it has 15 or more employees.) As for the question of whether they need reasonable suspicion, employers don’t generally need “proof” before taking disciplinary action against employees in matter, but because the issue of romantic relations is a sticky one, I turned to employment attorney Bryan Cavanaugh to weigh in.