Office Romance

Is it lawful to include in my handbook a prohibition against inter-office romantic relationships?


  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I don't think this is a legal issue. I believe that a significant percentage of people out of school or college meet their partners in the workplace.

    I think you could have a policy that managers and supervisors cannot have romantic/dating relationships with direct reports.

  • I agree with bevhunt...I think you could have a policy prohibiting supervisor-subordinate relationships.  You could also tell employees that if they are equals and have a relationship, and one gets promoted, that either one of the 2 people need to find other employment or (if the company is big enough) be transferred so that the supervisor can't play favorites, or conversely, there is no potential for sex harassment if the relationship ends.
  • I think the other problem trying to have such a prohibition is enforcing it.  Many of our employees are in their 20s, single, and socialize together on weekends/after work.  And we're going to tell them that all of their relationships need to remain platonic?  It's pretty unlikely--and would be tricky to enforce.  Instead, I think it's best to disseminate a sexual harassment policy and train all employees on it--including using examples that illustrate that co-worker harassment could include circumstances where someone won't take 'no' for answer--whether it involves pursuing a romantic relationship or refusing to accept that such a relationship is over. 
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