What to Know About Can You Date Your Boss Legally?
Romantic relationships begin with those we get to know and many relationships will begin in the workplace. But when the bells of a budding relationship begin to ring for your boss, it is not uncommon to wonder about the implications of such a relationship.
From many years in the hiring and firing business, here is what I have learned.
Employers in an at-will state can hire and fire their employees whenever they choose. But being in a relationship with a company superior doesn’t necessarily mean you will be fired, unless for some reason you are dishonest about this relationship.
In such a case, the person in charge will be the one penalized for such a situation.
But there is plenty more to be concerned about in a workplace relationship. There is nepotism and favoritism to worry about and this is just the beginning of downsides to having a workplace relationship.
So, let’s take a closer look at this fairly common scenario.
We spend almost a third of our day at our place of work and it is only common to be curious about the type of people you spend your time with. It is only probable that you will meet some very nice people and you will develop a natural attraction for them.
You may be drawn together or share many of the same interests and this is how happy relationships are born.
But if these feelings are for your boss, the dynamics suddenly change. The challenges set by this type of romance can create resentment with the other workers.
It may even seem that you are being manipulated by your boss. So, can you date your boss? If so, how is this done?
Can You Have A Romantic Relationship With Your Boss?The short answer is, YES!
While there are no laws that prohibit you from dating your boss there are some things that should be considered. The relationship itself can create a conflict of interest.
Many companies have policies about bosses and managers developing relationships with their underlings. These policies are in place to protect the interests of the subordinate employees who could feel manipulated in such a relationship.
If you are in such a company, they may ask that one of you leave the department or place of work altogether if you choose to continue with the relationship. They may also ask that you sign a statement declaring you are in the relationship consensually.
A boss can have considerable power within a company and employers must do all they can to avoid claims of harassment. Furthermore, no matter how cautious you are, there will always be the suspicion of favoritism.
It is important to remember, that is at-will states, employees can be fired easily. Employees can be fired for something as innocuous as asking for a raise. By the same measure, employees are free to quit their job whenever they choose.
Here you can find out how a subpar employee asking for a raise can be fired immediately. On the other hand, if you get a raise and you are obviously a subpar worker, everyone will suspect your romantic clout with the employer has provided you with unfair advantage.
What Happens If The Boss Have A Crush On Female Subordinate Like You?
The first thing to ask is “why are you attracted to your boss?”
Is it a genuine attraction you feel between you? Or, do you admire their professionalism and position in the company?
If you feel the attraction is genuine, you will want to research what the policies are on employees dating employers. There is a chance that one of you will have to leave their positions if you choose to continue in the relationship.
In the end, this is a decision you will have to discuss between each other. There is a good chance your boss is the boss for a reason, and will probably want to keep his job, regardless of falling in love with a subordinate.
This means it will be left to the lower ranking employee- that could be you – to leave her position, just be sure the decision is made fairly.
If neither of you want to quit your job and you choose to go ahead with the relationship anyway, things could get rough. If you break up, then one of you may want to leave the place of employment anyway.
Why You Shouldn’t Date Your Boss?
It is very to carefully consider the relationship from all angles to ensure that you are not being pressured into a relationship. Inappropriate boss behavior as in a case of my boss stares at my chest is a definitely a good reason to avoid dating him.
There could be instances where the boss may coerce you into quitting your job or even fire you outright just so the relationship can continue.
In either case, this would be considered harassment. If you were to pursue the relationship to any extent, it would be very difficult to prove harassment if the relationship falls apart later.
It’s also important to be able to recognize whether or not you are being pressured into a relationship.
Another thing to be aware of is the impact on the social dynamic of your workplace. There will be plenty of gossip and misunderstandings and the other employees will become naturally distrustful of you as they fear you will speak of sensitive matters to their employer.
Any bit of luck you may have in the workplace will automatically be attributed to your position in a relationship with the boss. Jealousy and resentment will ensue.
Is It A Bad Idea To Date Your Boss?
There may be no problem with you dating your manager, but there could be some serious problems if your manager is dating you.
There is no impact to the balance of power in a peer-to-peer relationship, but this is not the same when dating a subordinate. Do not forget that managers are responsible for aspects of managing a workplace including scheduling, pay rolls and the enforcement of policies.
This power must be kept completely immaculate in its application and appearance.
This is why many companies will not permit manager subordinate romantic relationship.
Ever since the #MeToo movement, workplace harassment has been a hot topic and workplace politics have been under closer scrutiny. Employers want their employees to feel completely safe in the workplace.
By having this policy in place, they will ensure that any relationships in the workplace will all be consensual and in no way predatory.
If you are considering having a relationship with your boss, you will need to consider whether your boss will be using their power to pressure you or manipulate you in any way.
They may try to pressure you to quit your job, so that they can date you. This would be considered harassment and is certainly not a healthy relationship to begin on any level.
Throughout my experience in the professional realm, I have known of many situations where a boss dated a subordinate and even did so myself.
Naturally, this occurred in the early days of the company before there were any laws against this and it was even sanctioned by the higher levels.
Nevertheless, I will say that for my part it was something I would have avoided.
But there is no sense dwelling on past errors. It has always been my personal and professional policy to learn from mistakes so that they can be avoided in the future.
How Do You Successfully Date Your Boss?
First and foremost, you will need to make sure that this is not against company policy.
After you have made sure that it is not against company policy, go to HR right away and declare your relationship status changed and mention with whom you are a relationship.
If you work in different departments, maybe your relationship can continue.
If you are not currently in different departments, there is a chance that your company can work with you to relocate you to different departments.
The HR department may also ask that you sign a “cupid contract” which basically declares that you are entering into the relationship consensually. This means you are not be pressured into a relationship and that further claims of sexual harassment can’t be made.
Sexual harassment claims and disgruntled employees are the two biggest problems that companies have with employees dating bosses.
The next important move will be to make sure that the relationship is kept discreet. If you flaunt the relationship to coworkers or use your relationship to influence your partner, this could be grounds for the very problems the company is trying to avoid.
For example, if the company you work for has a policy against taking on second jobs, and your enamored boss finds out you have a second job, they will be placed in a bad situation.
Should You Be Dating Your Married Boss?No, just walk away
In all seriousness, you should not be pursuing a relationship with your married boss. Even if they are already separated and, on their way to getting a divorce you do not want to be the thing that comes between them.
That is in addition to HR storm they will have to go through if you begin dating a married boss.
And that’s on top of all the HR downsides of dating your boss.
Marriage can be tough and there may be times that your boss feels they can confide in you and trust you with intimate details of their relationship. You may feel inclined to hear them out and offer them friendly advice, but this is a lack of professionalism on the art of your boss.
You may even feel a tinge of opportunism — if your boss’s marriage is hitting the skids this is your time to shine — it is not!
If you were to swoop in and be that comforting shoulder to cry on you take an involved role in what is about to happen and can be placed with all the blame for extramarital problems.
In some states, adultery is not only grounds for divorce but can leave your boss open to lose everything in divorce proceedings.
This can result in your boss feeling strong resentment against you for swooping at all. Is this something you want to invest your life in? You need to consider that very carefully.
If you see that you are developing feelings for a married man, it is probably best that you find a new job. Whether their marriage is fine and happy or strained and tense, there is no way that inserting yourself into their love interests will be beneficial for you or them in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Dating Your Boss Can Be Very Tricky
But it can be done. So long as you make every effort to follow company policy and keep your relationship completely consensual. Furthermore, have respect for your coworkers and don’t take advantage of the situation.
Under no circumstances should you insert yourself into your boss’s marriage.
There are no laws against workplace romances, nevertheless there are many ways that such a practice can cross ethical boundaries to such an extent that harassment and discriminatory charges could be placed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as state and local organizers.
Yes, this type of activity can get you fired from your job. Most employees are terminable at the will of their employers. This means they can be fired for any reason so long as it is not an unlawful reason.