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However, having a healthy employee dating policy in place to provide a framework for acceptable behavior and to protect the company (and its workforce) against problems is vital, and this policy should form part of your company culture and be understood by everyone on your team, from the most junior employees to the highest levels of executive management.Here are five tips for executing a healthy, functional employee fraternization and dating policy: If you need help establishing or actioning an employee fraternization and dating policy for your company, or if you require advice on how to handle employee relationships (and how to prevent any problems that might arise as a result of them), contact an HR professional or a specialist employment law attorney.Sarah, a 30-year-old graphic designer, met Matt through a colleague at the imaging tech company where they both worked."I didn't really notice him at first because he had a beard, and beards weren't my thing," she says.But they exchanged a few texts, then graduated to friendly lunches.Eventually Matt asked Sarah on a date, and they talked for so long that the sushi restaurant had to kick them out.Be Direct So what to do if you find yourself lusting after the project manager down the hall?
It is only natural that people who work together get to know each other very well and find common interests over the time that they spend together on the job, which can lead to the potential for romance. Attempting to do so will likely do little to prevent employees dating and having relationships but will almost certainly lead to them keeping their relationships secret for fear of losing their jobs or otherwise being penalized.
"Even today a boss-subordinate relationship is viewed as strategic on the woman's part," says Rebecca Chory, Ph.
D., who studies workplace interactions at Maryland's Frostburg State University.
No, Really: Avoid the Boss According to HR consultant Laurie Ruettimann, most written policies prohibit employees from dating only a direct boss or subordinate. Experts spoke with discourage manager-subordinate romances because they create the perception (or reality) of favoritism; in a worst-case scenario, both parties could be fired or dragged through a harassment lawsuit.
And women are disproportionately judged for these relationships, whether they're the boss—"With great power comes great responsibility," warns Green—or if they're the underling.
However, having an employee fraternization policy in place within your company or organization can help to provide clarity, guidance, and boundaries for interoffice dating among colleagues, plus it can ensure that relationships don't have a negative impact on the participants themselves, their other colleagues, or the company as a whole.