No dating policy for employees
It shouldn't just be up to one person to make that decision.
Recently, Culture Engineered was asked by the Huffington Post how an employee should ask a co-worker out on a date. These rulings have not been so favorable for employers (ie ).
But in the wake of the #Me Too movement and sexual harassment allegations that have come to light across multiple industries over the past several months, it's on every company to assess whether their HR policies in this arena make it possible for everyone to feel safe at work. According to a Google spokesperson, the company strongly discourages employees from involving themselves in relationships with colleagues that they manage or report to, or if there is any question whether one individual has power over the other.
The search giant has moved employees to different roles in the event that the latter does occur.
“When people find out about any type of secret, they feel misled and there's then a trust issue and people start to question all the decisions that you've made in the past.”And for any HR policy, not only ones relating to office romance, Huhman suggests holding an annual company-wide event to revisit rules to see if they still make sense and so that every employee feels that they have a voice.“If everyone decides that we want to have these hard and fast rules that there is no dating in the workplace, then there you go, you have your policy,” Huhman says.
As of 2013, the company updated its policies to require all vice presidents and above to disclose any inter-office relationships that might have a conflict of interest attached to the company’s general counsel and People Operations department.If you are going to have a dating policy that allows employees to engage in a romantic relationship, it is essential to communicate what behaviors are appropriate for their interactions at the workplace during work hours.Avoid the potential risk of sexual harassment litigation by either prohibiting supervisors or managers from dating their direct reports or implement a policy in which when a relationship blossoms, the direct report switches to a different supervisor. So, while non-fraternization policies may cause some gray areas to surface within a company, the good news is that when challenged, they are being upheld. A broad non-fraternization policy may constitute as interfering with employee rights to engaged in concerted activity, protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) – a BIG NO-NO.
Looking deeper however, interpretation of these statutes is narrow when it comes to office romances, failing to recognize a romantic activity as a “protected recreational activity”.
Non-Fraternization Policies and the Law Traditionally, a company policy is designed to keep the balance of power between employees (as individuals) and the company as a whole – defining good versus bad conduct and consequences that are associated with the bad. In the case of two California Department of Corrections employees working at a prison where the warden was having an affair with three other employees – not so good. The California Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs causing companies even more reason to be concerned about workplace relationships – even when consensual.