June 12th, 2018 by hrsimple
February 14th is quickly approaching and it brings with it a whole slew of troubles for employers. Aside from the usual romance in the workplace issues, employee attendance, harassment, and office parties can all cause an employer a good amount of trouble.
A recent CareerBuilder survey found that more than 37% of people have dated someone they work with over the course of their career. That’s more than a third of the workforce! While it’s great that your employees are finding happiness, there are a lot of issues that come along with office romances.
One of the biggest concerns with Valentine’s Day is harassment. Employers should have a clear anti-harassment policy in place that outlines what behavior is acceptable and unacceptable. Such policies should clearly state that employees are safe from retaliation if they come forth with any harassment claims. Harassment can mean so much more than inappropriate advances or attention. Employers should be mindful that Valentine’s Day may bring up more suggestive conversation and unwanted attention.
Employers should have policies in place outlawing certain behaviors that can make other employees uncomfortable and lead to harassment charges. Employers should have policies that clearly state:
Guests and presents
No boss wants to tell their employees they can’t have guests or receive gifts at work, but this can sometimes lead to loss of production and possible hostilities. While a policy banning these romantic gestures may cause ill will, managers should be mindful of employees productivity and should try to prevent any sort of hard feelings that come along when one employee receives gifts and others do not.
While office parties always pose a fair amount of troubles, these hazards are worsened when romance is in the air. Many employers wish to celebrate the holiday as an office, and should consider doing so with a lunchtime treat or daytime party. If an employer wishes to have an after-hours party, they should be mindful of alcohol and the liabilities that come a long with it. Be aware that harassment claims rise when alcohol is involved and make sure that all employees are behaving responsibly.
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