Dana Brownlee, president of professional training development company Professionalism Matters, advises against initiating a romance with your manager, or, likewise, with anyone who reports to you directly or indirectly."If you're a manager, you should be held to a higher standard," she says."You're creating a climate where people are going to see bias whether there really is bias or not."Relationships with your peers are generally more acceptable—assuming they're unhitched.Before you risk hurting your reputation at work, find out if this person is someone you'd want to spend weekends with. People either don't care, will think it's obnoxious or inappropriate, or will get jealous. Once you have a sense that this might have a future, talk to your partner and decide how and when you want to disclose your relationships to your colleagues.If the rumor mill goes into high gear, that might be the right time.These policies are enforced by management and human resources departments.Check your employee handbook to see what your company's policy is if you are concerned about fraternization.If nobody seems to notice, there's no reason to share. You and your new partner need to agree on some ground rules and come up with a plan for how you will keep it professional and stay within written or unwritten rules. "You may have the burden of overcompensating with professionalism and keeping an artificial distance, which can be an awkward strain," says Taylor."What will be your plan 'B' if the heat is on from a supervisor, from gossip, or if things go awry? "Better to overcompensate than to constantly test the limits of workplace etiquette while hoping for the best." Be sensitive and respectful to others.
Fraternization policies exist to encourage employees to keep these friendships professional at work.If indeed that’s how your company does it, that’s sex discrimination and is illegal.(Or at least it’s illegal if your company is big enough to be covered by federal discrimination statutes — meaning that it has 15 or more employees.) As for the question of whether they need reasonable suspicion, employers don’t generally need “proof” before taking disciplinary action against employees in matter, but because the issue of romantic relations is a sticky one, I turned to employment attorney Bryan Cavanaugh to weigh in.And a whopping 31% of office relationships result in marriage—meaning they can't always be a bad idea, right?Here's how to make sure pursuing love won't cost you your job: Avoid Getting Involved with the Wrong Person According to the Career Builder survey, 24% of intra-office relationships were with someone higher up in the organization.