In a consensual relationship between a supervisor and a subordinate, the subordinate often is the recipient of preferential treatment.Employees have asserted claims for sexual harassment based on the theory that they can't receive the same benefits because they are not "sleeping with the boss." However, most courts have rejected this argument because such a consensual relationship disadvantages both male and female employees equally.
The employers may fear: Can an Employer Prohibit Employees from Dating One Another?
So, can an employer do something about these concerns?
Sarah, a 30-year-old graphic designer, met Matt through a colleague at the imaging tech company where they both worked.
"I didn't really notice him at first because he had a beard, and beards weren't my thing," she says.
Therefore, the participants in a truly "consensual" relationship cannot prove sexual harassment.
The difficulty for the employer is proving that the relationship was consensual.
This helps to protect the company from later charges that the relationship was not consensual and constituted sexual harassment.
With this type of policy, the employees would also have to notify you whenever a relationship ends.
Although some companies chose to have no policy on dating, that leaves them open to potential liability if a supervisor is shown to have sexually harassed a subordinate, for example, by giving a poor performance review to a former partner.
To avoid this, companies institute various types of dating policy.
No-dating policies generally ban dating between a supervisor and their subordinate.