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Issues in workplace dating

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First, a few numbers: A survey said 59% of respondents have participated in some form of office romance — whether it was a one-night stand, a casual relationship, a long-term commitment or all of the above.In a Career Builder poll, 38% of workers said they have dated a co-worker at least once over the course of their career; 17% percent reported dating co-workers at least twice.

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So it’s pretty clear that in many workplaces — from restaurants to stock brokerages to hospitals — love is in the air.Many employers realize a blanket ban on employee dating is unnecessary and unworkable.And more and more organizations have a framework or policy for managing those relationships these days — almost three in four (72%), according to recent research from the Employment Law Alliance.But it seems many employers steer clear of legislating workplace relationships until they present some kind of problem for individual, team or organizational productivity.What can companies do to prevent romantic relationships between employees?Although some firms have strict anti-fraternization policies, the real-world answer is – not much.

As long as people spend time together at work, romance is a distinct likelihood.

As we mentioned above, a significant number of married people meet their spouses on the job – probably not surprising, considering how much time people spend at work.

Harassment is a type of employment discrimination involving unwanted, inappropriate, or hostile behavior in the workplace.

While workplace relationships are not considered harassment per se, it is possible for workplace relationships, especially ones of a romantic nature, to lead to situations that give rise to harassment claims.

There are a few common ways that a workplace relationship can create liability: These policies may also include annual sexual harassment awareness training, some of which may be mandated by state employment law.

If you are having issues in your office or workplace with another co-worker that cannot be resolved internally by the company's human resources department, you may need to consult with an employment lawyer to learn what options are available.