Jill arrives at work on Valentine’s Day to find a box of chocolates, a teddy bear, and a card on her desk. Smiling, she reaches for the card. Her smile fades as she identifies her admirer.
Valentine’s Day is a reminder of a common challenge many employers face: the office romance. According to a 2013 survey, more than 50% of the workforce has participated in an office romance on at least one occasion. Even though these relationships appear to be somewhat common in the workplace, they can still be problematic.
Often these workplace relationships can make some employees uncomfortable, can create the perception of favoritism for certain employees over other employees, and in extreme cases can create a hostile work environment. Then there are the ramifications of a workplace relationship and breakup — like a possible multiple-plaintiff sexual-harassment claim.
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