My response is that you should only enact policies you intend to enforce consistently.Let’s first consider a total ban on fraternization in the workplace (assuming you can clearly define “fraternization”).If two lower-level, high-performing employees in different departments begin dating, and you find out about it, are you going to require them to stop dating?

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Given the power a supervisor wields over subordinates, it could be very difficult for the employer to establish anything to the contrary.

A subordinate also could claim retaliation if he is given a poor performance review after the relationship ends.

The situation is also likely to lead to claims of favoritism by other employees—which could have their own legal bases but, in any event, will affect morale.

To policy or not to policy I’m often asked whether a company should have a policy against dating in the workplace.

If they don’t stop dating, are you going to fire both of them?

Because it has to be both of them, or you’ll open yourself up to disparate treatment claims. You can’t, or again, you’ll open yourself up to claims in future situations.

There are a few less restrictive options, but they aren’t without their own issues.

by Kylie Crawford Ten Brook According to a 2012 Stanford University sociology study, 10 percent of people meet their spouses at work. Unfortunately, not all relationships end well, and when they don’t, employers can face harassment and retaliation claims.

Although most businesses have no rules about office relationships, now may be the time—while the office is awash in hearts and the fragrance of flowers—to decide what’s best for your workplace.