Valentine’s Day offers an annual reminder to every employer that Cupid’s arrow can strike at the workplace. According to certain studies, 25 to 50 percent of employees have been a part of a workplace romance. This might not be surprising given the amount of time employees spend with each other, in many cases over the course of several years, and the bonds that can form among and between coworkers who share common interests and experiences, whether professional or personal in nature.
So what can employers do to manage romantic and personal relationships when “love is in the air” at the workplace?
Employers may consider implementing a personal relationship policy to address the subject of workplace romances. Even if not required by law, having a written policy in place can be viewed as a best practice. A policy that clearly and effectively provides employees with guidance as to what is permitted and what is prohibited with respect to workplace romances, as well as the consequences for violations of the policy, can be beneficial to management and nonmanagement employees alike.