Dating policy at work

Supervisors may approve non-routine visits that do not interfere with an employee's ability to perform his/her work functions or the productivity of a work unit.

As a large employer, Vanderbilt does have members from the same family who work at the University.

It’s usually when such a policy is enforced inconsistently that companies run into trouble.

Avoid such trouble by calling the following tips to mind before disciplining employees for violating your no-dating policy. What are an employer’s options when creating an office romance policy?

For example, if you demote the subordinate employee, and that employee happens to be female, you could wind up with a sex discrimination claim on your hands. What considerations should an employer take into account before disciplining an employee under its no-dating policy?

In cases of doubt, advice and counsel should be sought from the next level of administrator, Employee Relations or the Employee Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Disability Services (EAD). Romantic or sexual relationships between employees where one individual has influence or control over the other's conditions of employment are inappropriate.

When it comes to creating an office romance policy, there are a number of options from which to choose.

When deciding what type of policy to institute, make sure you: 1) weigh the pros and cons; 2) have a legitimate business need for the policy; 3) keep all related information confidential; and 4) share an employee’s personal information only with those who have a legitimate need to know.

Office romances can not only have an adverse effect on workplace productivity, but can engender claims of favoritism, sexual harassment and retaliation.

So employers should consider implementing a policy covering this topic.

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