Jess McCavitt claims his company withheld a promotion and then fired him for being romantically involved with another officer in the company. He said their relationship had no effect on their work and the company had no written anti-fraternization policy.
McCavitt claimed protection because New York is one of the few states that prevents companies from discriminating against workers because of their legal, off-duty "recreational activities." But the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that law doesn't include dating. (McCavitt v. Swiss Reinsurance America Corp., No. 00-7391, 2nd Cir., 2001)
Advice: There is no one-size-fits-all advice on setting a policy about office romance. Prohibiting employees from dating one another may prevent situations that could deteriorate into sexual harassment. On the other hand, a dating ban is hard to enforce and may scare off job candidates.
If you feel the need for an anti-fraternization policy, don't ban interoffice dating, but require managers to tell you or other top company officers if they get involved in a "power-differentiated" relationship (i.e. with a subordinate). You can have that worker report to a different manager.
Also, consult an attorney about state and local law.
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/956/co-worker-romance-set-a-policy-that-balances-rights-liability "
- Job applications: What can you ask? How long should you retain them?
- Wage-and-Hour compliance: How to win the numbers game
- Worker hinting at harassment? Provide policy
- The $10 million 'manager from the past': Teach bosses the risk of age-related remarks
- No need to accommodate when absence goes beyond all paid, unpaid leave