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Workplace Romances: How Should Employers Handle Them?

Dating in the workplace policy canada

It's spring and, to the dismay of employers, romantic relationships are blossoming in some workplaces. In light of the prevalence of these relationships, the risks associated with them and the best practices in managing them are important issues for human resources professionals to consider. The conduct will not change, just the way in which it is handled. In some cases, sexual relationships between co-workers reduce productivity as the employees involved become inattentive, focusing primarily on their romantic interest. Some relationships are inherently problematic. Supreme Court held that the employee knew or ought to have known that his employer would want to know about the relationship so it could take measures to avoid the obvious conflict of interest. He had worked his way up the company to a senior management position. If the relationship goes sour, one partner or both may not be inclined to work cooperatively with the other. Even in the absence of any illegal activity, it can still turn heads if a relationship is discovered, especially between a supervisor and a subordinate.

Dating in the workplace policy canada

The Court stated that there was no credible evidence that the employee's work performance merited dismissal or that the relationships adversely affected the employer's business, financially or otherwise. Is there anything wrong with a consensual relationship between a boss and his or her subordinate? Performance issues, owing to the distractions from the relationship, are also a possibility. But employers and executives have reputations to protect, which is why both should tread carefully with promiscuous habits towards dating work colleagues. Story continues below advertisement Story continues below advertisement Not all workplace relationships are evil or immoral, and there are many genuine and happy relationships spawned by a workplace dalliance. If it does, or even could, then you must make your employer aware of the situation. Or, perhaps it was, but they were scared to come forward earlier. Review, and if necessary, revise and update their conflict of interest and harassment policies; Prepare a separate policy on workplace relationships, or tie in requirements relating to workplace relationships to the existing harassment or conflict of interest policy, ensuring that the policy states the following: I invariably tell them that there is nothing illegal about dating at work. Many individuals who years ago would have met and married someone with whom they went to school have postponed serious relationships and other such life decisions until they are more established in their careers. Pursuant to Bill , employers in Ontario must have specific policies and procedures to address reporting and investigation of harassment. As awkward as it may be to tell your boss, or HR, that you are dating a co-worker or your boss , you will have much greater risk if you conceal it. Send it to our panel of experts: The court could also award the employee intentional infliction of mental distress, aggravated, or moral damages, depending on the way in which the termination was conducted. This is the cost of prevention. IN some areas, sexual favoritism is also illegal or could be deemed discriminatory. The law continues to evolve, as do societal norms. If dating is allowed, it may foster an environment where more activity occurs that could give rise to a harassment claim. The Supreme Court of Canada defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual conduct that negatively affects the work environment or leads to adverse job-related consequences. Before terminating an employee for just cause due to a workplace relationship with a co-worker, subordinate, or superior, employers should consider whether they will be able to establish the following: An investigation will be required to figure out whether it was romance, harassment, or something in between. However, to avoid the potential for negative consequences, I recommend that both employers and employees at least pause before ignoring the risks and consider the following advice: Or even worse, a situation like the murder that led to Bill That means updating policies and procedures, providing training, and taking allegations or suspicions of harassment seriously. In all Canadian jurisdictions, employees have the right to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace. Obviously that relationship worked out well, but not all of them do. He had worked his way up the company to a senior management position.

Dating in the workplace policy canada

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  1. Shakarr Reply

    In this case, the workplace policy was not challenged as unreasonable, and the court tacitly confirmed the long-standing principle that employers have the right to govern their workplaces as they see fit, even as it relates to policies against dating. IN some areas, sexual favoritism is also illegal or could be deemed discriminatory.

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