Sexual Harassment Lawyer Talks About Dating in the Workplace
Dealing with romantic relationships in the office is never an easy task. It is highly advisable that you consult a sexual harassment lawyer if you suspect that you may need to draw up an office policy with regards to dating in the workplace. A good sexual harassment lawyer will be able to help you come up with an appropriate protocol that will help prevent acts of sexual harassment while still respecting those who choose to pursue romantic relations with co-workers.
Sexual harassment can take on many forms and can occur in different environments. Whether you are an employer or an employee, knowing and understanding sexual harassment is important and most certainly useful. Sexual harassment is “unwelcome verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is severe or pervasive and affects working conditions.” In the workplace, sexual harassment is considered sex discrimination and is thus regulated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Under such regulation an employee has the right to sue by bringing their claim of sex discrimination to court. Claims are typically heard by federal court since anti-sex discrimination laws are federal laws.
Dating at work
Because people spend most of their waking hours at work it is also a place where one is likely to meet someone with similar interests. As romantic as ‘how we met’ stories can sound, the workplace needs to implement policies that regulate the conduct of the dating couple. This can sound like an intrusion into their social lives, however, such policies only seek to regulate conduct within the work environment and not the relationship outside of work. The main purpose of such policies is to protect the workers from being accused of or becoming victims of sexual harassment.
What Kind of Dating Policy Is Appropriate?
In order to avoid any complications at work when dating coworkers, employers should consult a sexual harassment lawyer and create an explicit dating policy to avoid legal headaches down the road. The policies that are most often used are:
- Complete Ban – This occurs when dating is prohibited in the workplace. This policy does not always work as employees will still try and date despite such restrictions. Such a limiting policy has the potential of creating a lot of enforcement problems and can hurt morale in the office. This policy also raises some questions about discrimination when a relationship is discovered.
- Partial Ban – This is when dating is allowed however not between employees and supervisors. Executive members (CEOs, CFOs, etc.) are not allowed to date anyone in the office.
- Ignore It – The employer decides not to regulate dating. The employer chooses to ignore any sort of relationship in the workforce as long as it does not interfere with work. However, the employer must have some kind of discrimination and harassment policy in place, even though they choose not to regulate dating. Without a discrimination and harassment policy, the limits of a relationship can quickly spiral into legal liability.
- Documentation and Management – This policy requires that any sort of dating be disclosed to the employer or the human resource department. Most common procedure for this policy is a formal declaration of the relationship stating that it is consensual and that both employees understand the sex discrimination and harassment policy of the employer.
Do I Need a Sexual Harassment Lawyer?
Sexual harassment is not something that is taken lightly; it is a very serious issue. It not only affects the work environment and the victim personally but also may turn into a costly and lengthy legal battle. It is crucial to consult a sexual harassment lawyer immediately if it is becoming a problem in your workplace.
Consulting the right attorneys
California legal team’s lawyers have extensive experience with Los Angeles employees who have suffered sexual harassment by their employers, supervisors or co-workers. Dealing with ridiculous defenses and stigmas around sexual harassment can lead to difficulty when managing such situations. For safety and security call the sexual harassment lawyers at California legal team for their advice so that you can have peace of mind and achieve a healthy workforce environment.