He says: “As for reasonable suspicion, the law does not impose any sort of standard that the employer must meet before taking action.
That is to say, the employer does not need admissions from the employees, or explicit emails, or video evidence.
Q: My business partner is dating one of his direct reports.
To avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, he wants her to report to me instead.
You will get plenty of time together – it doesn’t suit everyone, some people may find working alongside someone maintaining a professional relationship, and then all evening in a personal relationship a bit too much.
The danger is the roles will get blurred and either your work or personal life could suffer – having said that, some people thrive on having so much contact.
He says that since both parties are single, and the relationship is consensual, it’s a private matter.
It will be good for your career if it works out and you end up in partnership but while there is a power difference there are likely to be problems.
If indeed that’s how your company does it, that’s sex discrimination and is illegal.
(Or at least it’s illegal if your company is big enough to be covered by federal discrimination statutes — meaning that it has 15 or more employees.) As for the question of whether they need reasonable suspicion, employers don’t generally need “proof” before taking disciplinary action against employees in matter, but because the issue of romantic relations is a sticky one, I turned to employment attorney Bryan Cavanaugh to weigh in.
Two of my coworkers have warned me to be careful, as there have just been rumors of people in the past possibly having relations and the woman was always the one to be terminated.
It is indeed legal to prohibit dating between coworkers (with a few exceptions, such as in California, where courts have ruled that the state constitution provides broader privacy protection in employment matters).