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But a lot of companies don't let the rank and file decide--they adopt policies that ban or limit workplace dating--all in the name of lowering liability.Enforcing these policies can take their toll on a company. Earlier this year, Best Buy's chief executive, Brian Dunn, stepped down after an investigation by the board discovered he had shown "extremely poor judgment" with a 29-year-old female employee.This can be especially true in high-growth companies that demand long work hours and tend to hire more single employees.When your routine is work-sleep-work, going out to date does not seem like a real option for many.Essentially, any relationship between two people that could have a negative effect on the company if things sour, or if one party is able to improperly influence the other would fall under the policy.
When a workplace romance sours, it can expose the company to increased liability, since the connection between alleged actors is easier to establish--essentially giving the plaintiff some good ammunition for his or her case.
Just last month, Gary Friedman, the chief executive of Restoration Hardware, stepped down in the middle of the company's public offering. A couple years ago, Hewlett-Packard's chief executive, Mike Hurd, resigned amid accusations of falsifying expense reports to hide a personal relationship with an independent contractor.
The reason: an internal inquiry into his relationship with a 26-year-old female employee. As companies grow and add employees, you will often see signs of budding workplace relationships.
As the old saying goes "you don't dip your pen in the company ink." In other words, you shouldn't get into a dating or sexual relationship with a co-worker.
But consider this: according to a recent Workplace Options survey, nearly 85% of 18-29 year olds would have a romantic relationship with a co-worker, compared to just over 35% for 30-46 year olds and about 30% of 47-66 year olds.