Dating in the workplace legal liability

In one case, the Eleventh Circuit found that a public employer’s interest in discouraging intimate association between supervisors and subordinates was so critical to the effective functioning of the employer that it outweighed the employee’s interest in the relationship.

() Indeed, relationships that begin as consensual between supervisors and subordinates may later form the basis of a lawsuit.

Prohibiting it could decrease morale and could even result in losing employees who wish to date coworkers but cannot.

With Valentine’s Day just behind us, cupid may have left a few arrows in the workplace. workforce study found that 37 percent of workers have dated a coworker at some point in their career.

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.

Legally speaking, in most states an employer can enact a policy that prohibits employees from dating one another.They are nearly impossible to enforce, and work policies that infringe on employees' personal lives lower morale.Most companies trust their employees to cooperate and date their peers without it interfering with work.Sexual Harassment If employers do not take swift, proper action upon discovering a romantic workplace relationship, they may be faced with claims of sexual harassment.Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), it is unlawful for an employer to subject an employee to different terms and conditions of employment because of the employee’s sex. The first type is “Quid pro quo” harassment, which occurs when submission to sexual conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a condition of a job, a job benefit, or the absence of a job detriment.

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