Rules on dating in the workplace

In practical terms, it can be incredibly difficult to enforce, too.

Short of banning all workplace dating, here are some other options that many employers choose: If an employer opts to implement any such dating policy, it’s important to enforce it fairly and consistently—not in a way that discriminates. Be sure to check your local and state laws and consult legal counsel when necessary.

According to a Career Builder survey, interoffice dating has a fairly high success rate--of the 38% of people surveyed that dated a co-worker at least once, 31% went on to marry that co-worker! If you believe the stats of new employees entering the workforce, it might seem so.

But a lot of companies don't let the rank and file decide--they adopt policies that ban or limit workplace dating--all in the name of lowering liability.

Hospitality, Financial Services, Transportation and Utilities, Information Technology, and Health Services all topped the list as having higher than average office dating.

As a business owner, you might ask: "Where is the legal issue?

" While the answer to the first question is pretty simple, the answer to the latter is less obvious.

Essentially, any relationship between two people that could have a negative effect on the company if things sour, or if one party is able to improperly influence the other would fall under the policy.

One last generally acceptable rule: If you have a "C" (think CEO, CFO, COO) or VP in your title, you should always think twice about dating anyone in the workplace, even if he or she is not a direct report or within your chain of command.

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.

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