Chain-of-command issues One of the most troubling scenarios of dating in the workplace involves a relationship that forms between a supervisor and a subordinate.
No matter how consensual the relationship may seem, there is always a chance that the subordinate will later claim that he was coerced into the relationship by the supervisor.
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. Earlier this year, Best Buy's chief executive, Brian Dunn, stepped down after an investigation by the board discovered he had shown "extremely poor judgment" with a 29-year-old female employee.
A subordinate also could claim retaliation if he is given a poor performance review after the relationship ends.As the old saying goes "you don't dip your pen in the company ink." In other words, you shouldn't get into a dating or sexual relationship with a co-worker.But consider this: according to a recent Workplace Options survey, nearly 85% of 18-29 year olds would have a romantic relationship with a co-worker, compared to just over 35% for 30-46 year olds and about 30% of 47-66 year olds.Here are a few common stipulations that companies include in an employee dating policy: Having a formal policy doesn’t mean you have to write someone up every time you find out about a casual date.However, you do have to act immediately if productivity is affected, if you get complaints from employees, or gossip and conflict are tearing a department apart. Some conversation starters might include: Should employees get involved, some companies have the partners sign a “love contract.” Such documents specify that the relationship is consensual, that the pair will behave professionally, won’t engage in favoritism nor will take legal action against the employer, or each other, if the relationship ends.