No dating policy sample

During the past three decades, there has been a swing away from these restrictive polices, because employees simply don't want to work in these "uptight" type of situations. Workers tend to take their relationship over that job, but not their careers. A numbers of HR managers and officers believe that these restrictive rules are unenforceable, and the biggest problems they had were with their managerial employees, rather than just being limited to their entry-level workers.

The trend is for companies to dismantle, rather than implement, such restrictive rules-especially with respect to coworkers where some 80 percent of all office romances are centered. HR experts understand the argument about the high costs of defense, but the problem is that these restrictive policies create even higher costs and even more lawsuits , as seen above.

The great majority of relationships that originate but not necessarily end at a company do not end in sexual harassment litigation-and companies need to balance this in their decision in implementing reasonable and viable employment policies.

Romance, the Workplace and the Law

Over 90 percent of all organizations do not prohibit coworker relationships, using an informal policy of "benign neglect. And industries can be more accepting, or not, depending not only on how that industry is changing and the work hours i. Further, restrictive policies are not the best corporate defense that one might first think. They lead to even worse situations because there is no place for grievances to go, as well as establishing bad morale for workers. Employees just don't follow those polices and resent this intrusion into their private affairs.

There are better solutions, such as employing more humane and reasonable policies that recognize that people attract one another, no matter what rules you put in their way. The experience has been that restrictive policies just buy more expensive lawsuits for companies to defend against. For example, just what do you do if a woman in management is fast tracking and happens to become involved with one of her subordinates?

Hopefully, the same rules will be applied if the boss is a man. If transfer is not an option for either one or both , then the company can transfer the performance evaluation functions to a third party until something else is worked out. The key is that the company needs to place a managerial emphasis on what it does under a flexible policy rather than a rigid, inflexible one.

Think about where your company's policies on office romances fit into this discussion, and what changes you would make, when you have that executive chance.

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Policies About Workplace Dating

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  5. If we see them, we reserve the right to remove them. Readers may "report" concerns about other reader comments. Please use the "Report Abuse" link to flag inappropriate content. If a reader reports a concern, moderators will try to review that concern as soon as possible. This may take a few days although we hope to review comments more quickly. To avoid this, companies institute various types of dating policy. No-dating policies generally ban dating between a supervisor and their subordinate.

    Employment attorney Anna Cohen, writing in HR Hero Online, suggests that no-dating policies can be problematic, as it is difficult to define exactly the type of behavior that will be restricted. For example, in the case of Ellis v. United Parcel Services, the 7th Circuit appellate court upheld a no-dating policy that forbade managers from a romantic relationship with any hourly employee, as long as it was consistently enforced. However, in its opinion, the court also stated that the policy may have gone too far.

    Human Resources

    Another option is to require employees to report whenever they enter into a consensual relationship. This helps to protect the company from later charges that the relationship was not consensual and constituted sexual harassment. With this type of policy, the employees would also have to notify you whenever a relationship ends. For this reason, notification policies are sometimes seen as intrusive.

    Rules of Attraction

    With a notification policy, the manager the relationship is being reported to must also be required not to disclose the information, to protect privacy. This is a written confirmation to management that any relationship taking place between employees is consensual.


    The contract may also include the employees' written confirmation that they have been informed of the company's dating policy and the behavior that is expected of them, such as refraining from any acts of retaliation if the relationship ends. Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas may impact dating policies. The case, which struck down a Texas law banning consensual homosexual relationships, has been interpreted as upholding the right of all consenting adults to engage in private sexual activity. Employers could potentially be barred from banning workplace romances as a violation of the employee's constitutional right to privacy.

    Policies About Workplace Dating |

    According to attorney Ray Gallo, writing for the Daily Journal, forcing an employee to chose between their job and their partner would constitute an invasion of privacy, while a requirement to inform the company of a relationship would not. When writing a workplace dating policy, it is important to reduce your potential legal liability. Cohen suggests that banning or limiting dating between supervisors and subordinates is the most important aspect of a dating policy. Maria Stewart, a partner at Austin law firm Brown McCarroll LLP, suggests in the Austin Business Journal that policies on dating should include a way to report relationships that have turned hostile, and that employers must be on guard against any circumstances that could amount to harassment.