no dating policy in the workplace

Claire Osborne, 20 years old


About me:
Our Fraternization policy outlines our guidelines on employees forming personal relationships with each other. But, without rules and guidelines, romantic relationships between colleagues may negatively impact our workplace. This policy will set restrictions to maintain workplace conduct and order. Friendships forming between employees are also included in this policy. Friendships allow for a more collaborative environment, but they might also occasionally create cliques and fragmentation inside departments. This policy does not restrict participating in labor unions or other labor or civil rights organizations. No dating policy in the workplace relationships constitute sexual harassment and we prohibit them explicitly. When serious problems arise between couples, they can arrange a meeting with HR or their manager to find a solution.

For many, the workplace is a prime opportunity to meet someone you may eventually have a romantic interest in. However, employers may have another opinion on the matter. Many employers see the idea of employees dating one another as potentially threatening productivity or even opening up too much liability for the employer. But can they prohibit it? The employers may fear:. So, can an no dating policy in the workplace do something about these concerns? Is it legal to fully prohibit employees from dating one another?

As the old saying goes "you don't dip your pen in the company ink. Is this age-old adage becoming extinct? 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. Enforcing these policies can take their toll on a company. Just last month, Gary Friedman, the chief executive of Restoration Hardware, stepped down in the middle of the company's public offering.
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The dating or fraternization policy adopted by an organization reflects the culture of the organization. Employee-oriented, forward-thinking workplaces recognize that one of the places that employees meet their eventual spouse or partner is at work. But, relationships can also go awry and result in friction and conflict at work. It can affect the team, the department, and even the mood of the organization when stress permeates the air. The key to a fraternization policy is to minimize no dating policy in the workplace impact of the things that can go wrong in the workplace while maximizing the powerfully positive aspects of employee relationships. You also want to identify the relationships that are forbidden because of their potential impact at work. As with any policy, you should develop the policy for the good of the working relationships in a whole group of employees. Don't put a policy in place to control the behavior of a few employees whose behavior is out of line. It's worth noting that the consequence of a too-restrictive policy is that fraternization policies that prohibit even friendships and associations outside of work cause employees to deceive and cover-up.

Add or delete parts to communicate applicable rules regarding romantic relationships in the workplace and preserve harmony and fairness among all employees. We also set some standards for acceptable behavior when flirting with colleagues. This policy applies to all our employees regardless of gender, sexual orientation or other protected characteristics. No dating policy in the workplace explicitly prohibit non-consensual relationships. Before you decide to date a colleague, please consider any problems or conflicts of interest that may arise.

Do you think you need a fraternization policy for your workplace? Many employers avoid a fraternization policy also referred to as a dating policy, workplace romance policy, or a non-fraternization policy because they believe an employee's private life should be kept private. Here's the problem with this notion. Employees need some direction about what is acceptable workplace behavior. Workers don't want to unknowingly cross a boundary line that results in injuring their work status and career. Savvy employees understand that some policies in their workplace are unwritten, but all employees are entitled to understand workplace norms. Beyond the employee, a fraternization policy is even more significant for the employer.
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