If you are thinking about doing that first find out if your employer has a policy which prohibits co-workers from dating each other.If such a policy exists, and you ignore it, you may wind up losing your job.Employers might be concerned that a worker who is privy to confidential information may inadvertently leak such information to a romantic partner.Even worse, if the relationship ends badly, a rejected partner could retaliate by claiming that she, or he, was sexually harassed and could file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In a recent Career survey, 39 percent of respondents said they’d dated a co-worker .
Quid pro quo sexual harassment, in which employment benefits such as promotions and raises are offered in exchange for sexual favors, is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.Most of the entanglements occurred between two peers, but 29 percent of workers who’d dated a colleague said it was someone who outranked them in the company’s hierarchy, and 16 percent admitted to dating their boss.Women (38 percent) were more likely than men (21 percent) to date a higher-ranking colleague. According to the survey, social settings outside of the office were the most common, followed by running into each other outside of work, attending happy hours, spending late nights at the office, and going to lunch.Considering how much time is spent at work, it is no wonder that workplace friendships often lead to attraction and flirting -- then suddenly, romance blooms.Boredom and drudgery vanish in the excitement of the new relationship. Can he legally keep the office Romeo and Juliet apart? When co-workers on the same level embark on a romantic relationship, chances are there will be no problem, unless one or both of the parties are married to others.