Dangers of dating coworkers
If dating is merely discouraged, the policy should also indicate the counseling or documentation that will occur if employees violate the policy.
Even a consensual relationship, if it goes sour, can result in unwelcome advances, stalking, or other predatory conduct.In addition, any policy that prohibits co-worker dating should have an exception for employees who are married to one another.Definitions: A "no dating" policy must describe what "dating" is.At some time during your working life, you may have dated, or even married, someone you met at work.If you haven't, then the odds are that you know someone who has.There are greater questions of invasion of privacy for governmental employers and employers who must prove "just cause" for termination.
Flexibility: Consider how flexible your policy should be.
A 1995 survey estimated that 80 percent of all employees have either observed or been involved in a romantic relationship at work. The Problems with Employee Dating Even though romantic relationships in the workplace are common, employers have legitimate reasons for concern about employee dating.
The biggest fear is a sexual harassment lawsuit arising from either: Sexual harassment laws prohibit "unwelcome" sexual advances.
An employer may violate an employee's right to privacy by regulating the employee's private off-work relationships.
The employer is most at risk when trying to investigate and enforce a "no dating" policy by hiring a private investigator to follow the employee around, secretly reviewing an employee's voice mail, or listening in on an employee's office phone line. Consensual Relationship Agreements As an alternative, some employers require that employees enter a "consensual relationship agreement." The agreement, signed by both employees and management, provides that the employees will not allow the relationship to interfere with or impact the work environment.
For example, employees often go to lunch together, may go out for a happy hour drink, or may attend a BBQ or picnic with one another.