At our organization, two members of the executive team are married to one another.
Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), it is unlawful for an employer to subject an employee to different terms and conditions of employment because of the employee’s sex. The first type is “Quid pro quo” harassment, which occurs when submission to sexual conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a condition of a job, a job benefit, or the absence of a job detriment.
The second type is a “hostile work environment,” in which an individual must show: (1) he or she was subjected to conduct of a harassing nature because of his or her sex; (2) the conduct was both subjectively and objectively unwelcome; and (3) the conduct was sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the employee’s working environment so as to create an abusive working environment.
The main legal risks with workplace relationships are sexual harassment, conflict of interest, and violence in the workplace.
Outside of legal risks, there are of course management issues that can arise. had a short-term relationship with a female subordinate which produced an unplanned child.
Many of the sample handbooks seem to have anti-nepotism or conflict of interest policies which prohibit employees from dating or being in a relationship with co-workers.
Are we legally required to prohibit office relationships?The Introduction discusses the intent, organization, procedural considerations, and scope of application of the Ethics Code.The Preamble and General Principles are aspirational goals to guide psychologists toward the highest ideals of psychology. But from "sexting", to blogging, to Twittering and social networking, the line between work and personal communications is becoming increasingly blurred - which has the potential to create major legal risk for employers. The main problem with social networking in the workplace is that a ton of the information people post about themselves is personal - religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political views and even details about personal struggles, like coping with alcoholism, cancer or AIDS.These sites also tend to chronicle a person's social life - who they're dating, who they hooked up with last night and how bad their hangover is this morning.These kinds of postings at best make the manager seem like a jerk, and at worst, could serve as evidence of harassment, discrimination, bullying and retaliation. Employees disclose information about their personal antics that calls into question their credibility and capability on the job - like referencing recreational drug use, or sexual promiscuity.