() Sexual Favoritism Employers must also be aware of any sexual favoritism that may result from romantic relationships.
Sexual favoritism is favoritism shown by supervisors to employees who are the supervisors’ sexual partners.
() Anti-Nepotism and Anti-Fraternization Policies There are several steps employers can take to set standards of conduct for workplace relationships and manage office romances.
Don't assume you already know everything about each other.
When you log long hours at the office every day, you can probably recite what kind of mustard your coworker takes on a sandwich and exactly how he or she answers the phone. It's one thing if you happen to fall for the person you take lunch with every day.
(Third party employees who are not involved in the relationship may be motivated to bring claims of sexual favoritism if they see a coworker receive job benefits as a result of being intimately involved with a supervisor.
The California Supreme Court has recognized that an employee may establish a sexual harassment claim under the FEHA by demonstrating widespread sexual favoritism that is severe or pervasive enough to alter an employee’s working conditions and create a hostile work environment.
Chan informed Samson that she was planning on filing formal charges of sexual harassment and retaliation with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DEFH”) and state court.
Samson ended up settling with Chan for ,000 and a favorable letter of recommendation.
In one case, the Eleventh Circuit found that a public employer’s interest in discouraging intimate association between supervisors and subordinates was so critical to the effective functioning of the employer that it outweighed the employee’s interest in the relationship.
() Indeed, relationships that begin as consensual between supervisors and subordinates may later form the basis of a lawsuit.
Anti-nepotism and anti-fraternization policies, however, are permissible.
If a personal relationship in the workplace would affect supervision, efficiency, security, or morale, an employer would have a strong argument for implementing and enforcing anti-nepotism and anti-fraternization policies.
Have a thing for the guy who sits next to the printer? According to a survey, 56 percent of American business professionals say they've had some kind of romantic relationship with a coworker—whether that's a random hookup at the office holiday party or a long-term partnership that ultimately led to marriage.