Workplace relationships add an element of complication to the environment even when relationships are between equals. When a supervisor has a relationship with an employee under his management, the dynamics can be toxic for the workplace. Laws exist to protect employees in such situations, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of , which defines sexual harassment, and the difference between quid pro quo relationships and hostile environment harassment in the workplace. Relationships between a supervisor and his or her employee can have a negative impact on the entire organization. Other employees who notice the relationship may claim a hostile work environment has been created by the ongoing relationship between a supervisor and his or her subordinate. In Miller vs.
The Boss Is Dating an Employee. Now What?
Is It Sexual Harassment If I Date My Employee?
This story appears in the May issue of Entrepreneur. My business partner is dating one of his direct reports. To avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, he wants her to report to me instead. What do you think? There are numerous ethical issues involved in an owner or CEO or, really, any manager dating an employee. You and your partner need to see your attorney as well as an HR expert, but first you need to have an owner-to-owner talk about leadership ethics. This is no dating game—the relationship, whether or not they stay together, could wreak havoc on your culture and company.
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As the old saying goes "you don't dip your pen in the company ink. But consider this: Is this age-old adage becoming extinct?