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“When one has a reasonable suspicion that a boss/subordinate are dating, that individual should immediately report their suspicion to human resources, which can then ensure that there are safeguards in place,” says Matthew Brophy, assistant professor of philosophy at High Point University.
“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.
“If the source is reliable, or if you've observed suspicious behavior yourself, go directly to the boss or the senior person in the situation and determine the nature of the relationship, remind them of the policy, and ask for their cooperation and confidentiality.
If they continue against policy, use your company's disciplinary policy to correct the situation.” As a protection against accusations of harassment or coercion, some employers have employees sign a “love contract.” These contracts indicate “that the employees are voluntarily engaging in a romantic relationship, that the relationship will not affect the workplace, and that the participants are aware of the employer's sexual harassment policies,” Zoller says.
If it came down to it, what would you do – go with being happy, but being discreet, marching up to HR to make your announcement known, or avoiding an office romance at all costs?
Find out more about what your personal rights are on relationships in the workplace with some of the guidelines we’ve uncovered below:- 1) I’ve started a relationship with a colleague. Check your contract and staff handbook, and make sure you understand any specific policies in your company.
Speak to your union if you think the rules are over the top or intrusive.
“ Not every junior-senior relationship causes trouble, but their sensitive nature means everyone involved needs to be extra-aware of what’s ethical.So just how feasible is it to fall in love with a fellow colleague or manager?Why should we have to choose between our professional personas or following our hearts and being truly happy?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.