Dating direst

The legal issue is what I like to call the "amplification" of potential liability that always exists around the employer-employee relationship.

There will foreseeably be claims of favoritism, or even discrimination or harassment.

Enforcing these policies can take their toll on a company. Earlier this year, Best Buy's chief executive, Brian Dunn, stepped down after an investigation by the board discovered he had shown "extremely poor judgment" with a 29-year-old female employee.

Just last month, Gary Friedman, the chief executive of Restoration Hardware, stepped down in the middle of the company's public offering. A couple years ago, Hewlett-Packard's chief executive, Mike Hurd, resigned amid accusations of falsifying expense reports to hide a personal relationship with an independent contractor.

Essentially, any relationship between two people that could have a negative effect on the company if things sour, or if one party is able to improperly influence the other would fall under the policy.

One last generally acceptable rule: If you have a "C" (think CEO, CFO, COO) or VP in your title, you should always think twice about dating anyone in the workplace, even if he or she is not a direct report or within your chain of command.

" or "What's the best policy regarding workplace dating?

" While the answer to the first question is pretty simple, the answer to the latter is less obvious.

As a business owner, you might ask: "Where is the legal issue?According to a Career Builder survey, interoffice dating has a fairly high success rate--of the 38% of people surveyed that dated a co-worker at least once, 31% went on to marry that co-worker! If you believe the stats of new employees entering the workforce, it might seem so.But a lot of companies don't let the rank and file decide--they adopt policies that ban or limit workplace dating--all in the name of lowering liability.Still, dating at work can be a personal and professional minefield."I hate to be the legal buzzkill here, but these relationships can create problems," says Lisa Green, an employment lawyer and the author of spoke with real-life office daters and workplace experts to devise the ultimate dating-at-work survival plan.

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