Why You Need a Fraternization Policy at Work
As the old saying goes "you don't dip your pen in the company ink. Is this age-old adage becoming extinct? If you believe the stats of new employees entering the workforce, it might seem so. But a lot of companies don't let the rank and file decide--they adopt policies that ban or limit workplace dating--all in the name of lowering liability.
Enforcing these policies can take their toll on a company. Just last month, Gary Friedman, the policg executive of Restoration Hardware, stepped down in the middle of the company's public offering. Friedman was not married, so there was no dtaing. She didn't even work there anymore! Earlier this year, Best Buy's chief executive, Employer no dating policy Dunn, stepped down after an investigation by the board discovered he had shown "extremely poor judgment" with a year-old female employee.
A couple years ago, Hewlett-Packard's chief executive, Mike Hurd, resigned amid accusations of falsifying expense reports to hide a personal relationship with an independent contractor. As companies grow and add employees, you will often see signs of budding workplace relationships. This can be especially true in high-growth enployer that demand long polixy hours and tend to hire more single employees. When your routine is work-sleep-work, going out to date does not seem like a real option for many.
According to employer no dating policy CareerBuilder employer no dating policy, some industries are more prone to inter-office dating than others. Hospitality, Employer no dating policy Services, Transportation and Utilities, Information Technology, and Health Services all topped the list as having higher than average office dating. As a business owner, you might ask: The legal issue is what I like to call the "amplification" of potential liability that always exists around the employer-employee relationship.
There will foreseeably be claims of favoritism, or even discrimination or harassment. When a workplace romance sours, it can expose the company to dating for singles singapore liability, since the connection between alleged actors is easier to establish--essentially giving the plaintiff some good ammunition for his or her case. Relationships between supervisors and subordinates create even more potential problems.
In a better scenario, coworkers would find it easier to claim that an employee sober dating sites reviews preferential treatment from a supervisor he or she is dating. In a poorer scenario, the relationship would end badly, one of the employees could claim that the relationship was non-consensual, or that sexual harassment existed. An employee could even make a case for unlawful retaliation if he or she receives a poor performance review from a former lover or if a co-worker receives a better from his or her boss.
There are employer no dating policy few different ways to manage this liability. When it comes to workplace dating policies, here are a few basic options:. Generally, policies cover not only employees, but also contractors, vendors, suppliers, manufacturers, and the like. Essentially, any relationship between two people that could have a negative effect on the company if things sour, or if one party is able to improperly influence the other would fall under the policy.
One last generally acceptable rule: If you have a "C" think CEO, CFO, COO or VP in your title, you should always think twice about oolicy anyone in the workplace, even if he or she is not a direct report or within your chain of command. Even if nl does not violate a written policy, your boss the CEO or the board might not care, and view it as a lack of senior management acumen. I tend to sound like a broken record when it comes to company policies.
So here it goes again: It doesn't employr if it is a star performer such as Restoration Hardware's CEO or not. In my opinion, failure to equitably enforce a corporate policy is often worse than not having one. You're about to be redirected We notice you're visiting us from a region where we have a local version of Inc. READ THIS ARTICLE ON. Enter your email to reset your password. Or sign up using:. Sign in if you're already registered. Straight to Your Inbox SIGN UP FOR TODAY'S 5 MUST READS Sign Me Up.
Is Workplace Dating Really Off Limits? Cultural attitudes seem to be changing toward in-office romance. Here's a breakdown of the legal ramifications of making and breaking a company policy. Chas Rampenthal is general counsel and vice president of product development at LegalZoom. He's also a former talk radio host KTLK AM at Clear Channel and an entrepreneur himself, as the founder of LegalEndeavor. General Counsel, LegalZoom LegalZoom.