Avoiding sexual harassment Flirtation becomes sexual harassment when employee A refuses employee B's invitations or advances and B persists by asking A out again. Avoid these problems by focusing on employee job performance. Don't pry or question unless you notice performance problems. Nobody would be punished or fired. According to the CareerBuilder survey, some industries are more prone to inter-office dating than others. A couple years ago, Hewlett-Packard's chief executive, Mike Hurd, resigned amid accusations of falsifying expense reports to hide a personal relationship with an independent contractor. More than one-third of all employees meet their future partners while on the job, and for many, dating officemates is part of a balanced work life. Encourage employees to disclose relationships of this nature and then have them report to other managers to avoid claims of favoritism or discrimination. Dating at Work" In the ever-busy world of entrepreneurial business, we are always at work or thinking about work. Friedman was not married, so there was no affair.
The company should also have a policy regarding sexual harassment. This includes developing an atmosphere of trust and respecting the private lives of employees. The legal issue is what I like to call the "amplification" of potential liability that always exists around the employer-employee relationship. As companies grow and add employees, you will often see signs of budding workplace relationships. In my opinion, failure to equitably enforce a corporate policy is often worse than not having one. So far, the relationships have not had a negative impact on the working environment. Foster communication with your employees without judgment. Here are some strategies for managing romantic relationships in the office: You can often use the contract process to outline expected behavior like no "PDA"--public displays of affection--at work or retaliation if the relationship ends. Sexual harassment can destroy the cohesiveness of a team and lower employee morale. A rule forbidding fraternization of co-workers is deemed by most to be invasive, inappropriate and unnecessary. In this Quick-Read you will learn: 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. An employee could even make a case for unlawful retaliation if he or she receives a poor performance review from a former lover or if a co-worker receives a better evaluation from his or her boss. Nobody would be punished or fired. A couple years ago, Hewlett-Packard's chief executive, Mike Hurd, resigned amid accusations of falsifying expense reports to hide a personal relationship with an independent contractor. She didn't even work there anymore! Factors that identify sexual harassment. Essentially, any relationship between two people that could have a negative effect on the company if things sour, or if one party is able to improperly influence the other would fall under the policy. Will the policy restrict casual dating, relationships, romantic involvement, or socializing? Communicate your concerns to employees when their personal actions cause professional problems or questions. Sexual innuendos, jokes or inappropriate physical contact can also be considered harassment. Employees usually work hour days and often socialize together outside of the office. Office romances aren't a business liability as long as there are policies and procedures in place to ensure that employees' personal lives remain personal and their work professional. Where else are we going to meet people who share our interests? Enforcing these policies can take their toll on a company.
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