Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on a person’s sex. When office romances sour, scorned lovers often use this law to allege that their former lover was a sexual harasser. And even if the lovers are happy, workplace romances can cause problems in the office or on the shop floor. If co-workers feel a love affair results in favoritism, the relationship may lead to charges of conflict of interest, harassment, retaliation or discrimination.
A landmark 1998 U.S. Supreme Court ruling (Faragher v. City of Boca Raton) said that employers are responsible for the actions of their supervisors. It said employers—to be able to put forth a defense in harassment cases—must establish sexual harassment policies and complaint procedures. There must be provisions allowing harassed employees to bypass their immediate supervisors when reporting harassment.
A 2004 U.S. Supreme Court decision (Pe...(register to read more)