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Addressing Romantic Relationships in the Workplace Through a Conflict of Interest Policy
Google and Facebook’s dating policies are quietly radical.
Do you sense a feeling of romance in your office this Valentine's Day? According to CareerBuilder , 37 percent of employees have been in a workplace romance, 33 percent have to keep their relationship a secret at work and 5 percent of those individuals have left their jobs after the relationship ended. Why are employees leaving? It could be because there was no official romance in the workplace policy. After a breakup, it's possible that employees could experience sexual harassment, feel unsupported by HR or simply want to start over as far away from a former partner as possible.
Relationships in the Workplace
Considering how much time is spent at work, it is no wonder that workplace friendships often lead to attraction and flirting -- then suddenly, romance blooms. Boredom and drudgery vanish in the excitement of the new relationship. But what happens when the boss finds out? Can he legally keep the office Romeo and Juliet apart? The answer is, it depends.
According to a study by online dating site eHarmony, more people meet their spouses at work or school than anywhere else. In fact, some high profile couples -— Bill and Melinda Gates, for example -— began their romances in the office. While some companies are lax when it comes to relationships outside of work, others strictly prohibit off-hours fraternization between employees. In an era when sexual harassment is a real concern for organizations, the notion of two employees dating each other does have potential for some tricky policy questions.