#HustleEveryday: Is it ok to date my boss?
MANILA, Philippines – As adults, we all have the right to date who we want as long as it’s consensual. We’re relational beings and our interaction with each other, more often than not, leads to something more intimate.
This is true for all forms of people – even for your boss or staff.
We spend most of our time inside the office. Our proximity and interactions spent with our colleagues play a big factor in potential relationships. Romance within the workspace happens all the time and it’s a completely normal possibility.
But although we are open to doing what our heart chooses for us, it doesn’t mean it’s exempt from risk. We’re free to date our boss or our staff but it’s important to understand the parameters that come with it. One has to be wary of the legal implications, the company policies, and the possible conflicting ideas that come with it.
The legalities of “love”
We have our own free will to choose who we want to love in our life. But in inter-office relationships, there’s a chance that you can get tangled in tricky situations.
These are instances that are complex and sensitive enough that might lead to legal implications. If you’re a boss planning to ask your staff out on a date, that doesn’t mean you’re already crossing the line. But it’s important to be aware of when it is considered to be too much.
Sexual harassment is such a sensitive topic but it is a prominent problem in our society. In the Philippine context, the Republic Act 7877 is implemented to protect any employee for any possible threats of sexual harassment.
RA 7877 states that sexual harassment is committed when a person holding authority or influence or moral ascendancy over another in work, training, or education demands, requests, or otherwise requires any sexual favor from the other, regardless of whether the demand, request, or requirement for submission is accepted by the object of the said act.
There are more elements to these found here.
If you have pure intentions and are not capable of stepping beyond any borders, then you should be clear.
But everyone should keep in mind that the law is there to defend people from oppressive and inappropriate advances – a line often misunderstood when it’s mixed with complicated relationships.
Will it affect the company?
With these legal implications, it is also the responsibility of every company to put up policies to look after its employees. People should be the top priority of every organization – and sexual harassment should not be taken lightly.
If you would want to date your boss or your staff, ask your compliance officer regarding the company policy on office relationships. While true love knows no boundaries, there might be rules within your workspace that you’re violating.
Information regarding this should be readily available in your employee manual. If things are not clear then it’s best to consult with your HR team – they should be more than willing to assist.
Whether or not your company has policies against inter-office relationships, it’s still best to keep in mind the possible conflicts this is creating. Sometimes it’s difficult to notice that the relationship is getting in the way of our work. Our unconscious biases for loving someone so dearly can mask our judgment.
On the other hand, it can also go against you even if you’re excelling in the office. Imagine being a successful employee who just so happens to be in a relationship with your boss. As much as we don’t want gossip to happen, the grapevine can be there to spread ill intent about you.
The threats of the setup to the whole relationship itself are difficult. Imagine being restricted to these regulations as a couple. But it’s important to note that despite it being challenging, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen. People have made it work.
Overall, dating in the workspace is not new. If you’re thinking about starting a relationship with someone in your office, it’s best to discern the situation first to make the most prudent decision. – Rappler.com
This Part 1 of our three-part #HustleEveryday Valentine's series.
Chino is a writer who is taking his masters in business administration. He entered the Human Resources field after graduating in 2015.
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