Can Employers Legally Forbid Co-workers to Date? | dsl-service-dsl-providers.info
Legally speaking, in most states an employer can enact a policy that prohibits employees from dating one another. (Check your state and local. So long as the spouses don't supervise one another, a "no dating" policy enforced against spouses would violate this law. Another problem arises from concerns. Our workplace dating policy provides guidelines our employees should follow harassment and how to report it, please refer to our anti-harassment policy.
An employer can be liable for discrimination against other employees who were qualified for those benefits. However, the EEOC states that simple favoritism toward a lover or spouse, or even a friend, is not discriminatory.
If a workplace is the scene of widespread favoritism based on quid pro quo sexual activity, workers of both sexes could have grounds for a complaint of a hostile work environment that violates Title VII. Policies An employer who is concerned about possible problems arising from co-workers dating could develop an across-the-board ''no dating'' policy.
Such an anti-fraternization policy could restrict dating or socializing, but defining such relationships can be difficult when employees go out for lunch or drinks together or socialize as a group. An employer could set up policies that only prohibit relationships between supervisors and subordinates.
Policies must also define penalties for violations and must avoid selective enforcement.
Employees might find that any anti-dating policies are a violation of right to privacy. Consensual Relationship Policy An alternative would be asking all employees to notify management if they are entering into a consenting relationship. This consensual relationship notification policy would also require the employees to let the employer know if they break up.
Agreeing to such notification would protect the company from charges that the relationship was not consensual. However, if you live in a state with a law restricting an employer's ability to fire you for "lawful conduct outside of work," that law might offer some protection.
If it is essential for you to moonlight for financial reasons, or you are gaining experience which might help you advance within your current company, then you may wish to talk to your supervisor or someone in your company's human resources department to find out the reason behind the company's policy, and to see whether your employer is willing to make an exception to the policy.
If they understand that your primary loyalty is to your full-time job, and respect the reasoning behind your need to moonlight, then you will have resolved this issue in a way that doesn't risk your full-time employment. If, however, they say no, then you will have to make a decision about whether you can continue in your current employment, which is always easier to make before you are terminated for violating company policy. If your company does not have a moonlighting policy, then it may not be a problem for you to have a second job, but to be safe, you might want to consult a supervisor or your company's HR department.
Also, you should never conduct any business related to your second job while working for the first employer, which includes phone calls, e-mails, and use of your primary employer's supplies or business contacts. My company has a policy which requires employees to report to the company if they're dating co-workers.
I recently began dating someone in another department. She doesn't supervise me or work on my team. Do I have to tell the company that we're dating? Some companies concerned about sexual harassment have instituted strict "anti-nepotism" or dating policies which seek to prevent workers from dating certain or all coworkers.
While generally these policies are designed to prevent you from dating someone in your chain-of-command, be sure that you do not violate your company's policy, which may be more strict than the most common policies. Some companies now ask that you notify the company before dating a coworker, and may require that you sign a "relationship contract," indicating that the relationship is voluntary and consensual.
Can an Employer Prohibit Employees from Dating One Another?
An increasing number of companies are adding these policies, and most of these policies have thus far survived legal challenges.
If your company has such a policy, it is probably best to comply with the policy and disclose the relationship, especially if your relationship has reached a point where other coworkers are likely to find out about it. My company has a "no fraternization" policy that restricts managers from socializing with non-management employees.
Is it legal to have this kind of policy? You might think that who you hang out with when you're off the job is not the boss's business, but the National Labor Relations Board NLRB recently upheld a very restrictive anti-fraternization policy, which made it against the rules for a security company's guards to "fraternize on duty or off duty, date, or become overly friendly with the client's employees or with co-employees.
The policy was challenged by the guard's union, who argued that this kind of provision discouraged workers from exercising their right to organize unions and engage in concerted activity. For more information, see our site's retaliation for union activity page. After all, if you can't get overly friendly with your fellow employees, or spend time with them away from the workplace, chances are good that you're not going to feel safe complaining about work to someone you don't know very well, and certainly aren't going to take the chance of talking about banding together to join a union.
While the NLRB's ruling says that "we believe that employees would reasonably understand the rule to prohibit only personal entanglements, rather than activity protected by the Act," it's still unclear which "personal entanglements" would violate the company's policy.
If more employers enact similar policies preventing fraternization, it is likely that there will be more lawsuits brought by workers fired for violating them, given the difficulty of defining what kind of relationships violate such policies and the possibility that they inhibit union and other collective activity.
If you are subject to a no-fraternization policy, and have questions about what it means, you may want to consult with a local attorney to determine whether the policy appears to violate any laws.
I smoke medical marijuana in a state where it's legal, however, my employer fired me for testing positive for marijuana. Yes, despite marijuana recently being made legal in some states, an employer can still fire an employee for testing positive.
Off-Duty Conduct - Workplace Fairness
As seen in a recent Colorado casethis applies even to medical marijuana, though Arizona and Delaware currently have laws protecting medical marijuana users.
The main justification for employers freedom to terminate employees who test positive for marijuana is that using and possessing the drug is still illegal under federal law, even though it is legal in some states. For more information on marijuana and employment related drug testing visit our Drug Testing page.
I recently came out as gay and when my employer found out I was fired. Is this covered by discrimination laws? The answer differs between states and depending on whether you work for the federal government or a private employer.
Workplace Fairness has a Sexual Orientation Discrimination page that more thoroughly covers topics like protection from discrimination, the legal differences between sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, whether you can take a leave to care for your partner, and more.
A co-worker is sending me harassing emails through his personal account while off-duty. What should I do? While there are laws protecting you against harassment, whether a company will take action against an employee for off-duty harassment depends on the company policy. For example, if the harassment is creating a hostile work environment, many companies will discipline the offender. For more information on harassment visit our Harassment and Other Workplace Problems section and read about the harassment most closely related to what you are experiencing.
Federal law is silent on the issue of marital discrimination. While most states have laws that protect against discrimination based on marital status for example refusing to hire a married person for fear they will request extra time off these laws are often silent on the issue of employer decisions which prohibit married couples from supervising one another. As a result, many companies have an anti-nepotism policy.