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Love blooms at work? Isolated romance doesn’t always mean hostile work environment

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

When men and women work together, romantic relationships are bound to occur. Even rules that prohibit such relationships—at least between supervisors and subordinates—won’t stop that from happening. But an isolated affair isn’t a legal kiss of death.

If one rogue supervisor pursues a willing subordinate, that doesn’t mean other female employees can successfully sue, alleging a sexually hostile work environment based on perceived favoritism. In fact, before other employees can win a sexual harassment case, the workplace must be so permeated with romantic entanglements that it’s clear women are viewed as mere “playthings.”

A single affair—no matter how unfair it may seem to others not receiving special treatment—does not a hostile work environment make.

Recent case: Cindy and Michele worked for an insurance and risk management company. They went to HR and complained that their boss was carrying on an affair with a co-worker wh...(register to read more)

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