Dating co workers should be permitted
An employer may violate an employee's right to privacy by regulating the employee's private off-work relationships.
The employer is most at risk when trying to investigate and enforce a "no dating" policy by hiring a private investigator to follow the employee around, secretly reviewing an employee's voice mail, or listening in on an employee's office phone line. Consensual Relationship Agreements As an alternative, some employers require that employees enter a "consensual relationship agreement." The agreement, signed by both employees and management, provides that the employees will not allow the relationship to interfere with or impact the work environment.
However, any policy that allows too much case-by-case discretion exposes the employer to discrimination claims.The exception, of course, is where a supervisor propositions many employees, and only those who acquiesce receive preferential treatment. "No Dating" Policies An employer who wishes to do something about consensual relationships between employees has a couple of options. However, the policy must be carefully drafted to avoid several potential problems.The first problem is that Oregon law protects spouses who work for the same employer.For example, employees often go to lunch together, may go out for a happy hour drink, or may attend a BBQ or picnic with one another.
The policy should define if and when these activities are to be considered "dating." Public & "Just Cause" Employers: A governmental entity or a company with a "just cause" termination policy must approach no dating policies with great care.
Therefore, the participants in a truly "consensual" relationship cannot prove sexual harassment.