• Workplace Romance
  • March 3, 2015 | Author: Alina Nadir
  • Law Firm: Underberg & Kessler LLP - Rochester Office
  • With another Valentine’s Day passed, this is a good time of the year to review some tips for employers to deal with romantic relationships in the workplace.

    Do not allow romantic relationships between a supervisor and his or her subordinate. A supervisor simply cannot be objective when involved romantically with a subordinate, and if the relationship ends, it could lead to accusations of discrimination by the subordinate. While the subordinate’s co-workers would have a tough time alleging any viable legal claims based on the relationship, it can still lead to suspicions of favoritism and generally negatively affect employee morale.

    Ensure supervisors are trained to handle situations where their subordinates are romantically involved with each other, and also ensure the supervisors are trained to recognize harassment if they see it. This involves keeping sexual harassment, discrimination, and complaint procedure policies up to date, and conducting regular training.

    Any policy prohibiting workplace romances should be applied equally to all employees - do not pick and choose which relationships are acceptable and which are not. That could be opening the door to discrimination claims.

    Some companies require that any workplace relationship is disclosed to the employer. This allows the employer to monitor the situation to make sure no issues arise in the workplace, especially in the case of a break-up of the relationship.