Nothing can spark gossip in the office more than rumors of an office romance. After all, who doesn’t like a love story that starts at work. When you really think about it, we spend a majority of our days in the office, and our co-workers can sometimes know us better than our family members and spouses.
When a romance begins between two co-workers of the same “rank,” it can be viewed as cute and darling; especially when people go to great lengths to keep it a secret. However, when a romance develops between a supervisor and a subordinate, the inherent problems between the two can result in legal problems that can derail careers.
Indeed, we understand that sometimes the “heart simply wants what it wants.” However, there are certain things that co-workers who are romantically involved should do to avoid trouble in the office. This post will highlight a few of them.
Keep it discreet – As we alluded to earlier, nothing sparks gossip in the office like an office romance. News of a clandestine romance could have serious implications on your reputation and make things awkward in the event of a breakup.
Don’t date direct reports – This rule applies to both men and women. Even if the romance is consensual, it could be viewed as a prelude to a sexual harassment suit.
Consider other business relationships – Aside from the legal problems that can come about if the relationship goes south, you must also consider the professional relationships (both inside and outside the office) that could be compromised.
Don’t travel for business together – While it may seem like a good idea between you, the questions surrounding expenses for a hotel, dinner and other expenditures will be highly scrutinized.
The preceding is not legal advice.