Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Debra Katz was quoted in a Washington Post article, “Intel’s CEO resigned after violating a no-dating rule. More companies are adding them in the #MeToo era.” As workplaces have grown more informal, the line between professional and social settings has been blurred. The opinions on either side of non-fraternization policies are complex. While such policies serve to protect workers from potential sexual harassment situations, they can also be viewed as invasive into an employee’s private life.
Regardless of how an employer polices intra-office relationships, the rules must be clear, because even relationships that start as consensual can become workplace harassment risks.
“I have been involved in dozens and dozens of cases of sexual harassment that start out as consensual,” said Ms. Katz.
Power dynamics in offices can make relationships very difficult to interpret and police with consistency, which is why many companies simply ban superiors from having romantic relationships with employees, period.
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