The employer can act on its suspicions and circumstantial evidence.” This is basically the same as if your employer suspected you of violating any other policy (or even doing something they didn’t like, whether prohibited by a policy or not): If, for instance, your employer suspected you of being rude to clients or watching too much You Tube at your desk, they wouldn’t need to present you with evidence. In this case, though, Bryan goes on to say that they’d still be wise to only act if they have solid evidence: “Acting on flimsy suspicions would only serve to alienate employees, lower morale because they fear ‘big brother’ is prying into their personal lives, and risk losing good and loyal employees without a good reason.
If an employee was let go under this policy without solid evidence and that employee came back and alleged the real reason for the discharge was gender, race, age, etc., then the employer would have a weak defense since its ‘legitimate business reason’ for the termination was so flimsy.” So there are the facts on legality. From the employer’s side, there are all kinds of reasons not to want couples in your organization — but banning dating upon penalty of firing is a very old-fashioned policy and out of touch with how most modern workplaces operate.
That percentage is on the rise, and it’s no surprise: we spend one-third of our lives at work.
So, is it possible to allow cupid’s arrows in the office—but steer clear of legal landmines?
When a workplace relationship goes south, the parties involved must still see each other every day in the office.
This can lead to awkward encounters, and the potential for claims of sexual harassment and retaliation.
(And that’s not a loaded question; you can certainly decide for plenty of legitimate reasons that you do.) But if you decide that you do, then yeah, I’d avoid hanging out with your male coworker socially, unless you’re prepared to potentially lose your job over it.
In fact, Southwest Airlines counts 7% of its staff with spouses who also work for the company.
In an era of lawsuits, it’s wise for organizations to have a written or verbal employee dating policy.
These policies clarify the company’s rules on relationships between coworkers, supervisors and subordinates, as well as employees and clients, vendors, and competitors.
Though traditionally maligned for reasons I’m about to get into, office romance can be beneficial for businesses. Lane III, author of , sees employee dating as a way to increase employee engagement.
He argues that co-worker couples spend more time at work, take fewer sick days, and are less likely to quit.