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Essay on dating in the workplace

The general consensus appears to be as long as employees are not dating supervisors or subordinates, than it is deemed a viable relationship.

The norm of not allowing dating between supervisors and subordinates is almost common sense.

Finally, many employers consider coworker dating policies but refuse to adopt them because they feel it is too difficult to enforce or constitutes an unjustified intrusion into their employees' personal lives.

The paper recommends that employers adopt a written coworker dating policy that restricts coworker dating only in supervi¬sor-subordinate or other power-differentiated relationships as the only viable answer to the significant dilemma.

Any perceived favoritism can cause serious workplace issues.

These issues could be avoided by having a company policy that clearly outlines the details of workplace dating.

Moreover, a slighted employee may assert a "reverse harassment" claim against the employer, complaining that he or she was passed over for advance¬ment or raises in favor of a coworker who is having a romantic affair with a supervisor or other member of management. Sexual harassment claims under Title VII have developed under two distinct theories: "quid pro quo" and hostile-environment claims. The Court also determined that whether an environment is "hostile" or "abusive" can be "deter¬mined only by looking at all the circumstances . " Under the Harris totality-of-circumstances test, if a romantic relationship between a supervisor and subordinate turns sour, the employer may be charged with condoning inappropriate and un¬wanted behavior.

The quid pro quo theory involves situations where an employee is forced to choose between submission to sexual demands or the loss of job benefits, promotions, or employment. Acceptable behavior in the setting of a consensual relationship between employees can become harassing behavior if one party to a relationship no longer welcomes the conduct.

Further, employers should recognize the potential for workplace violence stemming from a relationship gone bad, namely, the scorned lover who seeks violent revenge in the workplace.

An employer's decision to ignore coworker dating issues may also have adverse effects on productivity and morale, especially if employees perceive favoritism and unfair treatment resulting from romantic alliances between coworkers.

As women continue to expand their numbers in the work force and acquire positions of equality, coworker dating will continue to increase.

In recent years, concerns about the ambiguities and complexities related to sexual harassment liability have fueled employer apprehension about coworker dating.

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