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This policy should reserve the employer’s right to make employment decisions, including transferring or changing lines of communication, Zoller says.
“By doing so, the employer can avoid conflicts of interest that may affect the workplace and other employees and compromise the employer’s own legitimate business interests,” she says.
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. United Parcel Services, the 7th Circuit appellate court upheld a no-dating policy that forbade managers from a romantic relationship with any hourly employee, as long as it was consistently enforced.
However, in its opinion, the court also stated that the policy may have gone too far.
Another option is to require employees to report whenever they enter into a consensual relationship.
“The subordinate, for example, needs to be assured that he or she should not feel coerced into dating their boss, and that he or she will be protected if the subordinate wishes to terminate the relationship.” If your company has a policy in place and you hear employees are violating it, confirm what you’ve heard before you take action, says HR consultant Mary Nestor-Harper.
To avoid this, companies institute various types of dating policy.
No-dating policies generally ban dating between a supervisor and their subordinate.
Concerned about sexual harassment charges, employers are wary of cupid’s arrow this Valentine’s Day and some of them are turning to “Love Contracts” or in lawyer terms – a Consensual Relationship Agreement.
A Consensual Relationship Agreement is an effort to mitigate the risk of sexual harassment claims from an office romance gone awry by documenting that the relationship is consensual.