Johnny C. Taylor Jr. The questions are submitted by readers, and Taylor's answers below have been edited for length and clarity. Have a question? Submit it here. Taylor, Jr.
Employee relationships in the workplace policy
Facebook, Google Restrict Employee Relationships with Dystopian Company 'Dating Policies'
Every company needs to consider a policy on workplace dating. Without a clear policy, an office relationship can lead to charges of sexual harassment and legal consequences for the employer. Although some companies chose to have no policy on dating, that leaves them open to potential liability if a supervisor is shown to have sexually harassed a subordinate, for example, by giving a poor performance review to a former partner. To avoid this, companies institute various types of dating policy. No-dating policies generally ban dating between a supervisor and their subordinate. Employment attorney Anna Cohen, writing in HR Hero Online, suggests that no-dating policies can be problematic, as it is difficult to define exactly the type of behavior that will be restricted.
Is it OK to date a client or vendor?
Workplace romances can lead to long-term relationships—and even marriage—but they can also result in uncomfortable situations for the people involved as well as their co-workers. That said, office romances do happen. Just ask Bill and Melinda Gates, who met on the job.
According to a study by online dating site eHarmony, more people meet their spouses at work or school than anywhere else. In fact, some high profile couples -— Bill and Melinda Gates, for example -— began their romances in the office. While some companies are lax when it comes to relationships outside of work, others strictly prohibit off-hours fraternization between employees. In an era when sexual harassment is a real concern for organizations, the notion of two employees dating each other does have potential for some tricky policy questions.