At some time during your working life, you may have dated, or even married, someone you met at work.
If you haven't, then the odds are that you know someone who has.
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?
While the idea of having an office sweetheart may boost some employees’ morale, romantic relationships in the workplace can create employee dissension and legal liability for employers.
Relationships Between Supervisors and Subordinates While any relationship between employees may cause problems in the workplace, the level of exposure to employers increases when a romantic relationship develops between a supervisor and subordinate.
The second type is a “hostile work environment,” in which an individual must show: (1) he or she was subjected to conduct of a harassing nature because of his or her sex; (2) the conduct was both subjectively and objectively unwelcome; and (3) the conduct was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the employee’s working environment so as to create an abusive working environment.
In a consensual relationship between a supervisor and a subordinate, the subordinate often is the recipient of preferential treatment.
Employees have asserted claims for sexual harassment based on the theory that they can't receive the same benefits because they are not "sleeping with the boss." However, most courts have rejected this argument because such a consensual relationship disadvantages both male and female employees equally.
Even more shocking is that 40% of those 18-29 year olds would date their supervisors.
According to a Career Builder survey, interoffice dating has a fairly high success rate--of the 38% of people surveyed that dated a co-worker at least once, 31% went on to marry that co-worker! If you believe the stats of new employees entering the workforce, it might seem so.
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.