Should men be dating a coworker?

In a recent article, an employee has asked to age old question about dating on the job that leads to the bigger challenge which is should men be dating a coworker? Dating a coworker can be problematic for both women and men. For men the hidden expectations are different and men to be careful in making this decision.

Men are expected to conduct themselves nobly on the job. However, men who are dating a coworker could meet with opposition from other employees if the relationship does not work out. If the relationship does not work out the first challenge could be with human resources.

Most human resource policies prohibit dating between the supervisor and the supervisee. The main reason for prohibiting supervisor and supervisee workplace relationships is because of the Dual Relationship Principal.

In the mental health field, a dual relationship is a situation where multiple roles exist between a therapist, or other mental health practitioner, and a client. Dual relationships are also referred to as multiple relationships, and these two terms are used interchangeably in the research literature.

The American Psychological Association (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (also referred to as the APA ethics code) is a resource that outlines ethical standards and principles to which practitioners are expected to adhere. Standard 3.05 of the APA ethics code outlines the definition of multiple relationships. Dual or multiple relationships occur when:

the psychologist has intentions to enter into a future relationship with the client or someone closely related to the client In addition, the standard provides a description of when to avoid multiple relationships (e.g., when the relationship causes harm to the client or impairs the psychologist’s competence) and when these relationships are not considered unethical (e.g., when the relationship does not exploit the client or impair competence). Men who are dating a coworker may encounter challenges associated with sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors. In most modern legal contexts, sexual harassment is illegal. As defined by the US EEOC, “It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex.” Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. If the relationships does not work out your former girlfriend may opt to file a sexual harassment claim. This incident will be place in your file in case there is another complaint from the same woman.

According to Association of Women for Action and Research, who conducted a study of 500 respondents found that:

  • Sexual Harassment is common in the Workplace
  • Sexual Harassment occurs across the board
  • Most of the harassment is experienced at executive levels, followed by administrative staff
  • Industries with high levels of sexual harassment incidents are business, trade, banking and finance, sales and marketing, hospitality, civil service, education, lecturing and teaching

Personally, I would not take a chance at my livelihood by dating a coworker. No matter how much I liked the individual, I would keep it at a professional relationships. However, if you must, follow the following rules:

  1. Establish rules of interaction – The rules of interaction should include how the both of you will interact on the job. Include phone calls, emails, and any other forms of communication limits. Remember, you do not want your relationships to have a negative impact on your performance.
  2. Do not keep your relationships a secret – This protect you if the relationships does not work. If the woman files a sexual harassment claim, during the investigation the human resource manager should find out that you dating the coworker. This should only result in a warning and not something permanently place in you personnel file.
  3. Share your workplace goals – This provide an opportunity for rich dialogue in regards to your workplace aspirations. It will also provide you an opportunity to determine her workplace goals to ensure that you truly have a potential match. Men who are dating a coworker can have tremendous benefits, if you approach the relationships with the above mentioned steps.

Related Articles

The Dangers Of Dating A Coworker

How to Date a Co Worker

Should You Date Your Co-Worker?

Ask the Experts: “Help, I’m Dating a Coworker”

Ask O’Leary: Is It Okay to Date My Co-Worker?

In Christ,

Dr. Derrick and Mrs. Sheila Campbell

PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

(856) 566-3267

Published books – Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land -Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land (Workbook for husbands & Wives) – Advanced Marriage Training for Singles

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