Dating in the workplace ethics

Despite these efforts, the subordinate quit and sued for sexual harassment, and now the nonprofit is using more time and energy proving that the relationship was consensual, that there was no harassment, and that the performance problems were real.Under the law, employers are strictly liable for sexual harassment of subordinates by their supervisors.Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for domestic violence to play out in the workplace.As a result of these headline-grabbing events, many employers consider prohibiting extra-marital affairs between co-workers.At our organization, two members of the executive team are married to one another.

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Conflict of interest policies are commonly adopted by nonprofit agencies, especially since the new IRS Form 990 asks whether you have such a policy in place.But between co-workers employers only have liability if the sexual harassment is unwelcome, severe, and pervasive, and the employer knew about it but failed to take prompt, corrective action.Of course you should have sexual harassment prevention policies in place to address these issues.This is one of those topics where employer policies are all over the map, especially in the nonprofit world where it is not uncommon for agencies to be founded by families or spouses. But this strident viewpoint ignores the reality of work/life blending supported by a 2010 survey that found 37% of workers have dated someone they met at work and 30% of them have married a workmate.

Rather than adopting a policy that outright prohibits intimate relationships at work, you may find that a more workable policy strives to balance the needs of your organization with the realities of life.

A senior manager was having an intimate relationship with a staff member not under her direct supervision, but whose compensation and work status would be directly affected by the policy decisions made by that manager.

Dating in the workplace ethics comments

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