The ethical question that usually has to be addressed when two employees enter into a relationship together and they know it is against all company policies is: should one of them voluntarily resign their position and if so which member of the relationship is going to leave.
This question alone usually causes a strain on the relationship between the two employees, because both individuals must still be able to sustain their personal lifestyles.
One strain comes between the employees when more than one person likes the same employee, and this employee is put in an awkward situation because they know if they choose only one it will not only break the company rule, it can also lead to revenge, sabotage, and a fall in work production.
The employee that does not get chosen can become irate and set out to make these other employees fail, they may inform upper management of their romance, or they might keep quiet while secretly sabotaging every project that is assigned to them.
This will not stop any employees from dating; it will only cause them to hide from their employers.
The third process for an employer to protect themselves is they may require each employee involved in the relationship is a mutual agreement, and it can also layout any guidelines that the employer may require for proper conduct in the workplace.
The first way for an employee to handle workplace dating is to ignore the situation and hope that no employee will file a claim of harassment, and if they do then it will be addressed under the existing company harassment policy.
The second way still has a liability exposure for the employer, but the company may introduce a policy that bans any workplace relationship.
Although this seems like a reasonably high success rate, business owners still must figure out where the legal issues will fall and what is the best policy regarding workplace dating.
The legal issues are always a potential liability that surrounds any employer-employee relationship.
The companies’ rights to prevent its employees from coming together, and what the law says they can do.