SEXUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE
Workplace romance exists when two members of the same organization develop a relationship with mutual attraction. Individuals who develop workplace romances may cause damages to morale and productivity. However companies are still confused whether or not they should interfere in the romantic relationship. Many companies are trying to figure out what department should get involved and what policies should be set and should there be set guidelines? There are pros and cons to developing a relationship with a co- worker. Some advantages would be to motivate employees, improve teamwork, communications and cooperation. Some disadvantages would be work performance declining, conflict of interest, co worker confusion, and threatening career advancements.
According to (Corser 2011) “Given that we spend more than one third of our time at work, it is not unusual for people to become romantically involved with a co worker. Some organizations have policies that discourage employees from having relationships at work for many reasons, conflict of interest, co-worker confusion, concerns of productivity and career advancements. So how do you survive an office romance? Keep work and personal issues separate, discuss it together, be honest but only at the right time. Keep it professional. Don’t forsake your workmates.” (p30). Not all work romances constitute sexual harassment or assault some are consensual sexual relationships and reflect as positive expressions of a person’s sexual desire, which is also prevalent at the workplace. Is it wrong or right? Sexual Harassment and consensual sexual agreement
Sexual harassment is intimidation of a sexual nature or the unwelcoming or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors. Harassment can be verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. For examples emails and inappropriate touching can be considered as harassment. It is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile work environment or when it results in adverse employment decision. The harasser can be the victim’s direct supervisor, a coworker, or a client or customer of the employer. On the other hand consensual sexual agreement or love contracts would be considered as dating and sexual relationships willingly undertaken by parties such as supervisors, coworkers, etc. Know the company’s policy on office romance. “Your company may prohibit office relationships or turn a blind eye. It may require that you notify personnel and sign a consensual relationship contract policy that protects the company from being sued when things go sour.” (2001 SHRM career journal.com). Consequences for employees in workplace romances often result in transfer within organization, termination, counseling, formal reprimand, suspension and demotion. That’s why it’s good to know your company’s policy. Workplace romance can end badly for employers and employees. According to (Lieber 2008) “High profile cases in the news have shown dangers to an organization when a workplace romance is exposed badly. Such romances can lead to negative publicity sexual harassment claims, and criminal charges, when the relationship involves an executive and a subordinate.” (p111-116). When workplace romance goes bad it is very costly for employers in both financial and other resources. When sex scandals are publicized involving the organization it can have implications that can curse the employer for years and even cause them to go out of business.
At my workplace I think that consensual relationship agreements should be presented to employees by human resources, to protect the company. Workplace relationships gone bad can harm the company both financially and other resources. This prevents lawsuits and scandals that may cause the company to go out of business. On the other hand this CRA policy may not work in favor of the...
References: Michelson, G., Hurvy, R., & Grünauer, C. (2010). WORKPLACE ROMANCES AND HRM: A PRIVATE MATTER OR ORGANISATIONAL CONCERN?. International Journal Of Employment Studies, 18(2), 117-149.
Sanders, D. E., Pattison, P., & Bible, J. D. (2012). LEGISLATING "NICE": ANALYSIS AND ASSESSMENT OF PROPOSED WORKPLACE BULLYING PROHIBITIONS. Southern Law Journal, 22(1), 1-36.
2001 SHRM Career Journal.com Work place Romance Survey
Williams, C. L., Giuffre, P. A., & Dellinger, K. (1999). SEXUALITY IN THE WORKPLACE: Organizational Control, Sexual Harassment, and the Pursuit of Pleasure. Annual Review Of Sociology, 25(1), 73.
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