Handling Relationships in the Workplace

On average, Americans spend about one-third of their lives at work, so both romantic and platonic relationships are bound to occur. According to a recent Society for Human Resource Management survey, 27% of U.S. workers are in a workplace romance, and about 41% know someone in a workplace romance. Most workers are comfortable with workplace romances, although only about 25% say they would be open to them. Some workers express concern about workplace romances being unprofessional and worry that engaging in a workplace romance would negatively affect their careers.

Although workplace romances are not unusual, they work best when employees follow their employer’s workplace romance policy and are transparent about their relationship rather than trying to hide it. Employers also may wish to revisit those policies in light of newly developed remote and/or hybrid work settings. Regardless of workplace setting, policies regarding workplace romances – and sexual harassment – should still apply. Still, some employees may see inappropriate behavior via messaging apps or electronic communications as a gray area. Employers should make clear that to the extent that employees are using company resources, including laptops, company cell phones, and even video meeting platforms such as Zoom, they are leaving a paper trail that can trace their communications with another person.

HBL has experience in all areas of benefits and employment law, offering a comprehensive solution to all your business benefits and HR/employment needs. We help ensure you are in compliance with the complex requirements of ERISA and the IRS code, as well as those laws that impact you and your employees. Together, we reduce your exposure to potential legal or financial penalties. Learn more by calling 470-571-1007.

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Hall Benefits Law, LLC

HBL offers employers comprehensive legal guidance on benefits in mergers and acquisitions, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), executive compensation, health and welfare benefits, healthcare reform, and retirement plans. We counsel a wide spectrum of clients including small, mid-sized, and large companies, 401(k) investment advisors, health insurance brokers, accountants, attorneys, and HR consultants, just to name a few. HBL is passionate about advising clients, and we are dedicated to our mission: to provide comprehensive, personalized, and practical ERISA and benefits legal solutions that exceed client expectations.

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