The Folly of Office Romances

By Priest, Jim T. | THE JOURNAL RECORD, February 4, 2000 | Go to article overview

The Folly of Office Romances


Priest, Jim T., THE JOURNAL RECORD


With Valentine's Day just around the corner and every drugstore exuding red hearts and candy, it's a highly appropriate time of year to discuss romance on the job.

Ahh, office romance. The very sound of the term makes the pulse quicken, the heart race and the imagination soar.

Whether the relationship is open and known or secretive and confidential, there is no doubt that office romances permeate nearly all workplaces. Many employees, over the years, have met their spouse at work and there is simply no denying that when men and women work in close proximity to one another the opportunity for love or lust will present itself.

What should be your company's policy on office romances? What should be your personal policy on workplace relationships? How do soured love affairs turn into sexual harassment lawsuits?

In the next few weeks, this column will examine these issues which, in recent years, have swamped the headlines, the courts and many individual lives.

Anyone who has casually glanced at a newspaper in recent years is aware of the furor over sexual harassment. Recent Supreme Court cases have made it clear organizations must not permit harassment to take place on the job and employers must take the initiative to correct problems if and when they arrive. Simply stated, what used to be viewed as joking, bantering or flirting in the workplace is often the precursor to a sexual harassment complaint and companies must be ever vigilant to keep this problem in check.

Consensual romances in the workplace do not fall within the definition of sexual harassment, since the courts say sexual harassment is "unwelcome" behavior. But even "welcome" behavior can plant the seeds of sexual harassment. Every office romance has the potential to fall apart and, once it does, behavior that was once welcomed -- and even encouraged -- can become fodder for the cannon of sexual harassment.

That's why individuals should avoid office romances and that's why organizations should discourage them whenever possible.

I know it sounds dull. I recognize it's no fun. But wouldn't you rather have less fun and fewer lawsuits? Wouldn't you rather be known as "dull" rather than "defendant"?

Office romances, even under the best of circumstances, create an awkward environment. Claims of preferential treatment arise. Unavoidable disagreements between lovers spill over into the workplace. Conflicting loyalties will be tested.

Office romances create problems in the workplace that need not exist and since (in theory) workers should be focusing on work while they're working, office romances inevitably get in the way of productivity. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Folly of Office Romances
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.