We have a guy in our office we jokingly call the resident “gigolo.” He’s earned this nickname because every time a single woman is hired he will not only flirt his butt off with her but will usually date her until the novelty wears off. It bothers the rest of us, not because he uses our office as his personal dating pool, but because of the disruption it causes when one of the women he breaks up with gets hurt or angry. Now there’s a buzz that he’s planning to break up with his latest fling right before Valentine’s Day. Not a good situation!
-Too much love in the air
Dear Too much love in the air:
Romantic relationships in the workplace are as common as office coffee pots. There is no getting around them, but as you implied, they are not a problem until they are a problem. When an office romance starts to negatively impact a workplace, that is when everyone wishes they were banned.
A practical way to prevent issues from arising with office romances is to have a set policy for all employees and management. This document should establish clear guidelines as to what is and is not allowed. You mentioned in your email that some of the women your office gigolo breaks up with get “angry.” A big danger with an office romance is an allegation of sexual harassment when the relationship goes south. This can be asserted whether the relationship was between two co-workers or a supervisor and his/her direct report. The former can be prevented by having an office policy that requires one of the employees in a romantic relationship to be moved to a different department. And the latter can be prevented by having the office policy stipulate that an employee will be assigned to another supervisor if he/she is dating their current supervisor.
If your office decides to create a romance policy, I strongly suggest you have an attorney that specializes in labor and employment law review it. It will be a valuable financial investment.
© 2017 Rozanne R. Worrell
Workplace Woes – Roze Knows®
Check out Roze's Facebook page, and if you have a question, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.