Dating Co-Workers in California: Protections for Employees As a California employee, you cannot be fired solely because you are dating a co-worker. The same advice goes for any public place where your innocent workmates would be forced to witness two of their colleagues snuggling or worse, arguing in the way that only couples can do. By way of example, employers have a legitimate business interest in preventing employees who are in supervisor positions from dating employees who are in subordinate positions. Employers will often fire both employees because they don't want to deal with the drama, even if one of them has done nothing wrong. But don't discuss it, deny it if the situation is questioned by the employer, stop talking about the whole dramatic thing with your co-workers, and just do your job. Happy Valentines Day to you and your sweetheart, wherever you met.
However, some employers may frown upon co-workers dating one another for various reasons. They probably get applications every day from people wanting jobs so why should they waste time dealing with it? It is not surprising then that workplace romances are common and many people meet their significant other or spouse while at work. Florida is a very employer friendly state. At-will employees can terminate their employment or be terminated at any time for any reason. But if your company has one, you want to know about it.
The law referenced in this site is applicable in California only. Tell Us What You Think Would you ever date a coworker? On the flip side, if the dating relationship goes south, the subordinate could assert a claim of sexual harassment or discrimination against the supervisor. During the relationship, the manager may have played favorites with the employee and avoided disciplining her for minor matters. Unless you have a contract, you can generally be fired for anything, including dating a co-worker, or having a bad haircut. When new employees are hired they may be given an employment contract to sign.
Company Policy Many companies have policies designed specifically to combat fraternization. Any instances of or must be investigated and addressed in a timely manner. Many California employees experience feelings for a fellow employee at work and want to date. As a result, many employees find themselves interested in a fellow co-worker and wonder if they are allowed to date their co-workers without getting into trouble, or worse - fired. Romantic Relationships in the California Workplace Workplace romances are bound to happen. The distraction can tear at even the most cohesive group. They got me exactly what I wanted and did it in the shortest amount of time possible.
We spoke on the phone and they had me come into the office and started on my case immediately. People will always be people, and thank goodness for that! Luckily for me and my siblings, things were looser in that arena in 1950. One caveat - don't deny it if it is, in fact, true. The subordinate person might feel pressured, for example. If the couple breaks up, one or both employees may quit or file harassment claims against each other. As long as the two of you comport yourself the way you always have, that should be the end of the drama.
How your coworkers discover your relationship has everything to do with how they react to it, says Sean Horan, assistant professor of relational communication at DePaul University and coauthor of a recent study on coworker reactions to office romances. Check your employee handbook to see what your company's policy is if you are concerned about fraternization. When employees date, there is a possibility of favoritism in hiring or promotions, and the employees may be less productive if they are distracted by each other. Once the contract is signed, both the employer and employee are obligated to abide by its terms. In addition, people outside of the relationship may also have a claim against the employer.
Meeting up with co-workers and managers outside of work for a drink or dinner does not cross the line into fraternization unless it results in favoritism or leads to inappropriate romantic relationships. But, California Labor Code protects an employee's right to privacy to engage in whatever lawful activity an employee wants while he or she is off the clock and away from work premises. While being friends with a co-worker doesn't mean you can be fired from your job, you could get fired if your relationship causes a disruption at work. These policies are enforced by management and human resources departments. Workflow disruptions and charges of favoritism often arise with employee fraternization. Under the same theory, you can quit your job because they won't hire your girlfriend, or because you don't like the color of your paycheck.
In practice, it is difficult for employers to completely ban romantic relationships. If you are fired, you can apply for unemployment. Some companies have policies that employees who fraternize, even if it does not disrupt their work, can be fired without any further discussion. For all of these reasons, employers tend to discourage coworkers from dating. For instance, romantic relationships in the workplace that jeopardize supervision, efficiency, morale or security could all potentially impact the legitimate business interests of an employer, and an employer may be justified in limiting these types of romantic relationships in the workplace. While a workplace romance is often exciting and entertaining for the employees involved, many employers frown on these relationships. The materials on this Internet site have been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice or legal services.