Corporate dating policy
Others argue that when two co-workers are in a relationship, it has the potential to create uncomfortable situations for everyone -– imagine a staff meeting where two team members have been arguing about their relationship, and those feelings spill over into the meeting -– and thus dating should be prohibited.No one wants to hear about how a co-worker leaves his socks on the floor, or other more personal details.Two of my coworkers have warned me to be careful, as there have just been rumors of people in the past possibly having relations and the woman was always the one to be terminated.It is indeed legal to prohibit dating between coworkers (with a few exceptions, such as in California, where courts have ruled that the state constitution provides broader privacy protection in employment matters).This policy applies to all our employees regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
But, without rules and guidelines, romantic relationships between colleagues may negatively impact our workplace.If there are not policies, should there be set guidelines?These are still questions that many companies are trying to answer.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.