Office Romance Essay

2388 Words Mar 26th, 2011 10 Pages
It is not morally acceptable for employers to make generalized rules against dating in the workplace. Such rules violate the employee’s personal rights and may act against a company’s best interests. There are morally and legally acceptable exceptions, however, when specific romantic relationships, such as those between supervisors and subordinates, are likely to create a financial and legal liability for a company, and hamper the company from conducting business. In these cases, it would be morally irresponsible not to have a specific policy forbidding the romantic relationships in question.
The Privacy Spectrum
The right to privacy can be seen as a spectrum with each end of the spectrum representing positions with which very few
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They are discreet and the relationship remains hidden from most co-workers. Unlike the Lyon’s Club example, the couple’s at work behavior has been no different than normal. So if the couple is observing the company’s at-work behavior rules, why should it matter what the couple is doing during their own time? Does the employer have a right or obligation to forbid this type of relationship?
Yes – the employer has a compelling interest to keep these two employees from engaging in particular behaviors, and requesting that they refrain from dating each other is a necessary means to that end. The relationship creates a conflict of interest situation as well as a supervisor and subordinate romance. Both of these situations are likely to create liability for the company. Therefore the employer has the legal and moral authority and, in fact, the obligation to forbid this type of relationship.
The Compelling Business Interest of Avoiding Conflict of Interest
It is standard practice for companies to forbid employees to engage in activities that create direct conflicts of interest? For example, employees of the California ISO, the company that controls the electricity flow for most of California, are prohibited from investing in companies that do business with the California ISO. This helps avoid potential conflicts of interest, makes it easier to defend against possible accusations of favoritism towards particular energy providers.
Companies incorporate

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