• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

When workplace romance goes bad, fall back on sexual harassment policy for discipline

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

It’s bound to happen eventually: Two of your employees will have an affair. Then one of them will break it off, leaving the other hurt, angry and perhaps vengeful. It’s all a recipe for disaster—and HR will have to manage the situation.

Of course, it’s easier if you have rules prohibiting intraoffice dating. You can punish them both, assuming they are merely co-workers.

But if your rules aren’t very specific, you’ll have to be careful. In the following case, the employer did every­thing right.

Recent case: A female employee referenced in court documents only as S.A. had a year-long affair with a married co-worker, M. Then M told S.A. it was over.

S.A. didn’t take it well and kept calling M’s house. M and his wife reported the harassment to the police and to HR. In turn, S.A. was informed that she should leave M alone or face the possibility of discipline for sexual harassment. The calls continued.

HR concluded that because S.A. kept phoning M, she was guilty of sexual harassment and ordered her to take a sexual harassment refresher course. She got angry and threatened the HR rep, so she was reprimanded.

S.A. then sued for sex discrimi­nation. However, the employer had no trouble persuading the court that S.A. had been appropriately disciplined. Her lawsuit was dismissed. (S.A.  v. New York City Department of Information Technology, No. 09-CV-2436, ED NY, 2011)

Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!

Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...

We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.

The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.

" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/14807/when-workplace-romance-goes-bad-fall-back-on-sexual-harassment-policy-for-discipline "

Leave a Comment