Workplace friendships flow naturally into personal lives.
Families become friends through their work connection.
Therefore, the participants in a truly "consensual" relationship cannot prove sexual harassment.
The difficulty for the employer is proving that the relationship was consensual.
These friendships and romances can also affect the workplace positively adding to the sense of teamwork and camaraderie.
Yes, relationships can also go awry and result in friction and conflict at work. The key with a fraternization policy is to minimize the impact of the things that can go wrong on your workplace and maximize the powerfully positive aspects of employee relationships.
Resignation and litigation at Stanford point to complications when an administrator has a relationship with a faculty member in his or her unit, but few colleges have formal policies about such situations.
With the changing scope of federal regulations and increased scrutiny regarding sexual assault and harassment on college campuses, more and more institutions are strongly discouraging and even banning consensual romantic relationships between students and faculty members.
“We will be investigating possible relationships left and right,” opponents of the proposed policy said.James Phills, who was let go from Stanford this year, alleges discriminatory treatment by the university due to his entanglement in the dean’s love life.Stanford denies the claim, saying that Phills -- who had been a nontenured faculty member since 2003, several years after his wife was appointed to a tenured position -- was terminated for failing to return after multiple leaves of absence to work in Silicon Valley.Often, an employee will argue that he or she was an unwilling participant in a relationship that merely appeared to be consensual.Even a consensual relationship, if it goes sour, can result in unwelcome advances, stalking, or other predatory conduct.