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Am I permitted to date a co-worker?

Sexual harassment in the workplace is universally frowned upon by both employees and employers. However, when it comes to dating co-workers the line between what’s acceptable and what’s not is often blurred. It’s natural to form bonds with people you spend ample amounts of time with, but when it comes to dating taking the proper precautions is essential. In this case, The Balance offers the following advice.

Be discrete

If you are dating a co-worker, never try to hide the relationship or lie about your romantic status, as this will only exacerbate interest. In the same token, be careful about potentially flaunting the pairing in front of co-workers, which may be taken poorly. Discretion will also safeguard you in the event the relationship ends, which is a very real possibility, unfortunately.

Specify rules with your partner

You and your romantic partner should be on the same page when it comes to your shared place of work. Have a frank discussion about public displays of affection in the office, how to address co-worker questions, and even what to do should your relationship break up. While it can be an uncomfortable conversation to have, it’s best that you have a solid understanding going forward.

Keep it professional

Work romances get even more complicated when one party is in a position of authority over the other. In this case, maintaining proper decorum at all times is a must. Refrain from making off-color jokes to or about your partner, as well as putting pressure on the person when it comes to forming a romantic relationship. Even with good intentions, a skewed power dynamic could lead to a sexual harassment charge, which could jeopardize your employment going forward.

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