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Simple rules for managing office romances

With wedding season beginning in our region of the country, invariably co-workers will be invited to a couple's special day. Also, it may be that the wedding involves people who met and fell in love as coworkers. When you consider how much time we actually spend at work, it is a wonder that more people who work together don't end up as spouses. After all, the terms "work wife" or "work husband" were not created in a vacuum.

Indeed, office romances can be seen as cute and endearing; especially with how coworkers attempt to keep the relationship a secret. However, when problems arise in the romance, especially when the relationship involves a supervisor and a subordinate, legal problems can arise.

As such, there are a number of things romantically coworkers should do to avoid trouble in the office. This post will highlight a few. 

Don't date direct reports - Let's face it, power is sexy; whether it is held by a man or a woman. So it is natural for a subordinate to be attracted to a supervisor. However, supervisors should not date direct reports, regardless of whether the romance is consensual. It sets the stage for a sexual harassment suit.

Keep it discreet - Nothing sparks office gossip like news of an office romance. Also, a public romance could negatively compromise other professional relationships (both inside and outside the office).

Don't travel for business together - While travelling with an office sweetheart may seem like a good idea, the questions surrounding expenses for food and accomodations will be highly scrutinized.

The preceding is not legal advice.

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