- Dating Your Boss: Women on Reddit Share Their Experiences
- 'Should I date my boss?' Expert advice before you take the plunge - Hack - triple j
- Dating your boss...
- What could go wrong?
Dating Your Boss: Women on Reddit Share Their Experiences
Have you ever hooked up with your boss? Would you keep working with them? What if they have a family? News broke today that Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is expecting a baby with one of his former staff members, Vikki Campion. Vikki, a former journalist, left Joyce's office in April last year.
'Should I date my boss?' Expert advice before you take the plunge - Hack - triple j
She's reportedly moved in with Joyce and the baby is due in April this year. Joyce's wife and four daughters are "devastated" by the news, according to The Telegraph , while Joyce and Vikki are reportedly "madly in love". The relationship was apparently an open secret in Canberra and Joyce told Parliament back in December that he and his wife had separated. If this seems like something out of a movie Bridget Jones, Mad Men The watercooler flirtation, the hook-up, the office gossip, the competition, resentment and jealousy, the break-up, the messy fights in front of coworkers, the scene where one half of the couple clears their desk.
Consider you'd be having an affair and, aside from the ethical issues, your co-employees are probably going to judge you harshly for this. Psychologist Shahn Sorekli told Hack: Two people get together at the office and it becomes the topic of discussion. Consider that if they're your boss there's even greater risk of resentment and jealousy from coworkers, and greater risk you'll have to quit if you break up. 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.
One last generally acceptable rule: Even if it does not violate a written policy, your boss the CEO or the board might not care, and view it as a lack of senior management acumen. I tend to sound like a broken record when it comes to company policies. So here it goes again: In my opinion, failure to equitably enforce a corporate policy is often worse than not having one.
Dating your boss...
When it comes to workplace dating policies, here are a few basic options: You can do nothing. This seems to be the overwhelming favorite for smaller companies or companies that are just starting to formalize employee training. Often a CEO or president will look at the potential for risk and weigh that against the ability to police and enforce a policy.
For many smaller companies, they choose to go without a policy, and let the rules on harassment and discrimination do the job. Note that you should always have a policy prohibiting and enforcing sexual harassment and discrimination. You can ban it. This is another common method, known as an "anti-fraternization policy.
You have to define and often describe the conduct you want to prohibit. Will the policy restrict casual dating, relationships, romantic involvement, or socializing? Can you even define those terms? I can tell you that the last place you want a policy defined is in the courts. A less restrictive policy that a lot of companies have is one preventing nepotism--prohibiting spouses or relatives from working at the same company or preventing employees from supervising related coworkers.
What could go wrong?
You can allow it, with written disclosure. This is commonly known as the "Love Contract" approach. A signed document will confirm a consensual relationship and provide additional notice of understanding of the sexual harassment policy.
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You can often use the contract process to outline expected behavior like no "PDA"--public displays of affection--at work or retaliation if the relationship ends. Make sure that you inform the employees that they have a right to and should talk to a lawyer before signing. You can allow it, but never within the chain of authority.
While this policy is easier to sell to employees most are not inside each other's reporting chain , you still have a lot of the same problems about defining conduct and what is not allowed.
You can also have employees report a romantic relationship to a company representative, like an HR official. Having information up front will allow you to better respond to complaints of discrimination or favoritism.