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Wal-Mart faces suit over workplace romance

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A former department manager at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Woodland, Clearfield County, is suing the company for gender discrimination after she was fired for having a relationship with an employee.

Helen Masonis said that while she was manager of the center’s case-lot area, she became involved with a supervisor from another area. While Wal-Mart has a nonfraternization policy barring affairs between workers, Masonis said her affair did not violate company policy.

Further, Masonis claimed that several male managers who also had affairs were not disciplined. She submitted a list of male managers who had affairs at the facility, including two department managers who consorted with hourly employees, a general manager with a department manager, a personnel manager with a subordinate, and a general manager with a subordinate.

Most workplace romance policies prohibit affairs between supervisors and subordinates. Blanket nonfraternization policies may fail because they’re too restrictive, making enforcement difficult and sending employees underground.

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