When it comes to employee dating, job title and department matter.
According to a 2013 SHRM survey, only 32% of HR professionals think employers should have the right to prohibit office romance outright, but a whopping 95% voted to restrict romance between a supervisor and a direct report.
When a workplace relationship goes south, the parties involved must still see each other every day in the office.
This can lead to awkward encounters, and the potential for claims of sexual harassment and retaliation.
Retaliation can take many forms: termination, shift changes, pay cuts, transfers, and other adverse actions have been found to be retaliatory.
Over the past 10 years, retaliation claims grew 70%—and are now the most common type of complaint with the EEOC.
Is it legal to fully prohibit employees from dating one another?
Many employers see the idea of employees dating one another as potentially threatening productivity or even opening up too much liability for the employer. First, let’s look at some of the most common reasons employers may desire to curb employees’ desire for one another.The biggest threat to office romance is the retaliation lawsuit.22% of workers say they suffered retaliation after an office romance ended.That percentage is on the rise, and it’s no surprise: we spend one-third of our lives at work.So, is it possible to allow cupid’s arrows in the office—but steer clear of legal landmines?In our lifetimes, we’ll spend 90,000 hours at our jobs, and we build organic relationships with the people we see everyday.When it comes to meeting people, the office is the new village.Bloomberg Business reports that National Public Radio, Princeton Review, Pixar, and Southwest Airlines encourage in-house matchmaking for these reasons.In fact, Southwest Airlines counts 7% of its staff with spouses who also work for the company.Many people meet at work before beginning a romantic relationship.Prohibiting it could decrease morale and could even result in losing employees who wish to date coworkers but cannot.