Think about that: The threat of a lawsuit normally is limited to one of the two participants in a workplace romance; this case means a lawsuit could come from any employee who feels that he or she has been passed over for a promotion, denied a plum assignment, had overtime hours cut back, etc.In other words, your legal exposure could be increased exponentially.This avoids the appearance of favoritism, conflicts of interest, and unprofessional or disruptive conduct in the workplace. If your association does not already have rules prohibiting supervisor-subordinate relationships, you could protect the association by having the manager and staff member sign a consensual relationship agreement, also known as a "love contract." The contract requires the manager and subordinate to (i) acknowledge that they are aware of the association's policy against sexual harassment, (ii) affirm that their relationship is mutually agreeable and not coerced, (iii) consent to guidelines on appropriate office behavior, such as refraining from displays of affection at work and work-related events, and (iv) agree that the relationship may be ended at any time by either party without fear of retaliation.Recommendation: Associations with employees should have handbooks reviewed by legal counsel and distributed to all employees.
Finally, any disciplinary action against the subordinate could lead to a retaliatory lawsuit. In my opinion, it is never okay for a supervisor to date a subordinate.
Two exclusive surveys show that HR execs aren't doing what it takes to ensure that boss/subordinate dating doesn't result in costly, unnecessary sexual harassment lawsuits.
One survey showed that 56% of HR executives feel that under no circumstances should a boss ever date a direct report.
If other courts take a similar stance, companies might have no choice but to strictly forbid all boss/subordinate relationships.
In the California case, employees accused a boss a "paramour favoritism" (i.e., giving promotions and other favors to women he'd had intimate relationships with).
Search for subordinate dating:
: Whenever you put men and women together, you have sexual attraction.