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If dating is merely discouraged, the policy should also indicate the counseling or documentation that will occur if employees violate the policy.

The policy might also be limited to supervisor/subordinate dating, or allow dating between co-workers who do not work alongside one another.

For example, employees often go to lunch together, may go out for a happy hour drink, or may attend a BBQ or picnic with one another.

However, any policy that allows too much case-by-case discretion exposes the employer to discrimination claims.

by requiring termination or transfer) may create sexual discrimination liability.

When enforcing a "no dating" policy, the employer must be careful to penalize both sexes equally.

An employer may violate an employee's right to privacy by regulating the employee's private off-work relationships.

The employer is most at risk when trying to investigate and enforce a "no dating" policy by hiring a private investigator to follow the employee around, secretly reviewing an employee's voice mail, or listening in on an employee's office phone line. Consensual Relationship Agreements As an alternative, some employers require that employees enter a "consensual relationship agreement." The agreement, signed by both employees and management, provides that the employees will not allow the relationship to interfere with or impact the work environment.

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