Workplace Romance

1 January 2017

Some advantages would be to motivate employees, improve teamwork, communications and cooperation. Some disadvantages would be work performance declining, conflict of interest, co worker confusion, and threatening career advancements. According to (Corser 2011) “Given that we spend more than one third of our time at work, it is not unusual for people to become romantically involved with a co worker. Some organizations have policies that discourage employees from having relationships at work for many reasons, conflict of interest, co-worker confusion, concerns of productivity and career advancements. So how do you survive an office romance?

Keep work and personal issues separate, discuss it together, be honest but only at the right time. Keep it professional. Don’t forsake your workmates. ” (p30). Not all work romances constitute sexual harassment or assault some are consensual sexual relationships and reflect as positive expressions of a person’s sexual desire, which is also prevalent at the workplace.

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Is it wrong or right? Sexual Harassment and consensual sexual agreement Sexual harassment is intimidation of a sexual nature or the unwelcoming or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors. Harassment can be verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.

For examples emails and inappropriate touching can be considered as harassment. It is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile work environment or when it results in adverse employment decision. The harasser can be the victim’s direct supervisor, a coworker, or a client or customer of the employer. On the other hand consensual sexual agreement or love contracts would be considered as dating and sexual relationships willingly undertaken by parties such as supervisors, coworkers, etc. Know the company’s policy on office romance. “Your company may prohibit office relationships or turn a blind eye.

It may require that you notify personnel and sign a consensual relationship contract policy that protects the company from being sued when things go sour. ” (2001 SHRM career journal. com). Consequences for employees in workplace romances often result in transfer within organization, termination, counseling, formal reprimand, suspension and demotion. That’s why it’s good to know your company’s policy. Workplace romance can end badly for employers and employees. According to (Lieber 2008) “High profile cases in the news have shown dangers to an organization when a workplace romance is exposed badly.

Such romances can lead to negative publicity sexual harassment claims, and criminal charges, when the relationship involves an executive and a subordinate. ” (p111-116). When workplace romance goes bad it is very costly for employers in both financial and other resources. When sex scandals are publicized involving the organization it can have implications that can curse the employer for years and even cause them to go out of business. At my workplace I think that consensual relationship agreements should be presented to employees by human resources, to protect the company.

Workplace relationships gone bad can harm the company both financially and other resources. This prevents lawsuits and scandals that may cause the company to go out of business. On the other hand this CRA policy may not work in favor of the company, because they have not figured out how to implement this policy and which department should deal with this issue. CRA is a vague area and it can be one person’s word against the other when it goes sour. Ethical principles are based on the individual or group and what they think is right or wrong.

What may seem right to some maybe wrong to others. So companies need to keep in mind the different beliefs. There is also a right to privacy, so by implementing a CRA it should be clear. Nonfraternization policies “Having clear policies that govern behaviors and relationships acceptable in the workplace is the first step employers should take to control dangerous workplace romances” (Lieber 2008). There are different types of nonfraternization policies. Some employees ban on any dating in the workplace. They are not legally enforced because they are considered overbroad.

Another policy prohibits supervisors from dating and employee because of the power between the two may cause the employee to feel pressured to start or stay in the relationship and finally the most common and most recommended policy prohibits supervisors from dating subordinates who are in the supervisor’s direct chain of command. Ethical behavior should be considered when allowing workplace romance. I think from an employer’s perspective they have to consider certain things such as respecting a person’s moral principles such as honesty, fairness, equality, respecting the dignity, diversity and the rights of other people.

Being ethical means doing the right thing in any situation. Everything we do is a choice, so ethical behavior is choosing between what is right or wrong. Now from an employee’s point of view ethical behavior should be considered when it comes to workplace romance. I think that as an employee dating at work is fine, but some principles should apply, first it should be consensual, being professional at all times, keep business separate from pleasure. Do not cause co worker confusion. There is also a downfall to dating at work when things go sour such as, retaliation d, termination, or demotion.

If a person dates at work they should know what risks they are taking. I think is should be left up to the individual and the company to put a policy in place. If a consensual relationship agreement is in place this would be a contract to protect the organization against any law suits. Due to certain ethical principles it may work against the signing of a CRA as well. What the employer has to realize is that certain guidelines apply to being ethical and unethical. Employees have the right to privacy. The line between the right and wrong thing can be very sketchy depending on the situation.

This issue is very broad and for years companies have been trying to figure out what department should be involved and should certain guidelines be set. I personally am in favor of the CRA because it protects the company and limits the sexual harassment risk. Companies have to cover themselves for any liability that may happen at work so by having a love contract is simply says that the affair was consensual, even when things go sour. According to (2001 SHRM career journal. com) “There are four steps that should be taken on how companies can handle office romance.

Implement and enforce policies on dating and family relationships to promote uniform treatment of all employees. Have a legal professional review these policies to ensure compliance with federal state and local laws. Be on the alert for potential problems stemming from a workplace romance involving one of your workers, but limit your involvement that affect the company (job performance workplace morale, etc). Encourage employees to report any harassment they experience or observe and follow proper protocol when dealing with the complaints.

Don’t retaliate or allow employees to retaliate on anyone who file a complaint. Exercise caution and common sense in your own personal relationships with employees, making sure they don’t have a potential lawsuit. Document everything. Analysis and assessment of workplace bullying It’s immoral and unprofessional, though it is not universally illegal in the United States for managers to threaten, insult, humiliate or date employees. Bullying has become popular in American workplaces and there is no accepted definition of it.

It is called many names such as interpersonal mistreatment, harassment, abusive workplace conduct, and many more. However bullies make personal insults, invade another personal space, make uninvited physical contact, make verbal and nonverbal threats, intimidation, etc. Additionally bullies treat others in rude, disrespectful manners, interfere with work activities and fail to give needed information and prevent individuals from expressing themselves. Studies have been conducted in various geographic areas “Approximately one third to one half of workers surveyed that they have experienced workplace bullying.

For example in 2000 a survey of 700 Michigan workers reported that twenty seven percent of the workers experience mistreatment. In 2002 study of 5000 employees of Veteran Affairs thirty six percent reported hostility from a coworker or a supervisor. A study of Workplace Bullying Institute found that thirty seven percent of all Americans say they have experienced some form of bullying on the job” ( Sanders, DE, Pattison, P. , & Bible, J. D. 2012). The Healthy Workplace Bill The model proposal for legislation is the Healthy Workplace Bill (HWB), created by David Yamada and published in 2004.

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