Work Place Romances: Should Employers Regulate Dating Between Employees?
An on-going concern for employers within a wide variety of companies is workplace romance or romantic relationships amongst employees. Many companies do not have a written policy concerning this issue however it is usually more of an unstated fact, such as the term, “don’t dip your pen in the company ink.”
According to an article written by Ceridian, “The taboo of office romance: Should HR be concerned, whatever the reason, the stigma of office romance has faded over the last four years, according to the recent Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) 2006 Workplace Romance Survey.”
Fewer HR professionals think romance is not, or should not, be permitted at their organizations, dropping from six percent in 2001 to four percent in 2005.
Fewer think couples should not work in the same department, dropping from 31 percent in 2001 to 24 percent in 2005.
Employees themselves feel the same way, according to the survey:
Those who thought public displays of affection at work should be prohibited dropped from 63 percent in 2001 to 54 percent in 2005.
Those who thought people in the same department should not get romantic dropped from 49 percent to 37 percent.
“Love is a powerful emotion, and office romance is not only alive and well, it’s thriving in the U.S. Forty percent of employees report that they had an office romance in 2005.”
Many employers and HR Managers are concerned that workplace romances may lead to all of the following – fear of retaliation of increasing concern when the relationship may end badly; supervisor-subordinate relationships are dangerous (“Usually these relationships don’t work out. They’re dangerous and it’s best to avoid them,” says Dale Fruehauf, vice president of human resources at Ceridian. “They can also create a legal situation for the company. Companies are wise to have clean-cut policies about...