Dating coworkers good idea

In a poorer scenario, the relationship would end badly, one of the employees could claim that the relationship was non-consensual, or that sexual harassment existed.

An employee could even make a case for unlawful retaliation if he or she receives a poor performance review from a former lover (or if a co-worker receives a better evaluation from his or her boss).

Essentially, any relationship between two people that could have a negative effect on the company if things sour, or if one party is able to improperly influence the other would fall under the policy.

One last generally acceptable rule: If you have a "C" (think CEO, CFO, COO) or VP in your title, you should always think twice about dating anyone in the workplace, even if he or she is not a direct report or within your chain of command.

Just last month, Gary Friedman, the chief executive of Restoration Hardware, stepped down in the middle of the company's public offering. A couple years ago, Hewlett-Packard's chief executive, Mike Hurd, resigned amid accusations of falsifying expense reports to hide a personal relationship with an independent contractor.

The reason: an internal inquiry into his relationship with a 26-year-old female employee. As companies grow and add employees, you will often see signs of budding workplace relationships.

According to the Career Builder survey, some industries are more prone to inter-office dating than others.

But consider this: according to a recent Workplace Options survey, nearly 85% of 18-29 year olds would have a romantic relationship with a co-worker, compared to just over 35% for 30-46 year olds and about 30% of 47-66 year olds.

Even more shocking is that 40% of those 18-29 year olds would date their supervisors.

According to a Career Builder survey, interoffice dating has a fairly high success rate--of the 38% of people surveyed that dated a co-worker at least once, 31% went on to marry that co-worker! If you believe the stats of new employees entering the workforce, it might seem so.

According to Vault.com's 2010 Office Romance Survey, almost 60 percent of respondents admitted to having participated in some form of workplace romance.

Manager/employee dating, in particular, may be prohibited by policy so it is always a good idea to check with the HR department or take a look at the policy handbook to see what rules your company has. In 2008, more than 13,867 sexual harassment claims were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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