Interoffice dating rules
The pair became regular tabloid targets in Frank Magazine. Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky: Clinton had a relationship with the 22-year-old intern while in his first term in the White House.
While office relationships were not forbidden by the company, the manager was eventually terminated for lying. Justice James Sloan of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice upheld the company’s decision in his December 2011 judgment.“Kuntz had every right to consider that Reichard’s wilful misconduct seriously called into question the trust, integrity and honesty required for him to perform his duties as a manager and that Kuntz’s lack of trust in Reichard was sufficient to terminate him for cause,” said Sloan.Ryerson’s Cole says employees must be careful that their personal lives do not impact on the company.The downside of an office romance could include sexual harassment allegations which can become a legal nightmare, the ruination of professional relationships, the creation of co-worker confusion, and the decline of work performance, says Cole.“Breakups can lead to resentment, anger and upheaval in the workplace all those emotions that will have an impact in different ways.” But certainly not all employers see dating as a bad thing.That employee was transferred somewhere else, says Cole.“Especially because they were in a hierarchical relationship, that was a big no-no,” says the professor. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Business and Psychology and authored Cole, looked at the attitudes of 100 employees and students at Ryerson University.Most respondents said they felt workplace romances are “inevitable” Cole says.“You have to be able to deal with that.”Most respondents in the Ryerson study would draw the line in office relationships where managers favour employees with better assignments or promote them at the expense of others.
If people are at different hierarchical positions, it “disrupts the power structure” and creates a huge potential conflict of interest, the study found.
And many people are working so hard they don’t have a social life,” says Shenker. The British payroll company Portfolio Payroll revealed in 2002 that seven out of 10 of their workers had a romantic relationship.
“We have moved from a command-and-control era to a greater acceptance that this does happen.”However, not all workplaces are created equal. According to the authors, some companies might even encourage dating because productivity and commitment to the company may increase.
World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz most famously resigned in 2007 after controversial allegations surfaced that he had been dating an employee of the bank and had been involved in securing a big pay raise and promotion for the woman.
The bank’s code of ethics forbids a hierarchical relationship between manager and employee, even if it is an indirect one.
While it would be “archaic” for companies today to have a policy forbidding office romances, they should at least have a policy for dealing with problems that can arise from relationships and affect work environment, Cole says.