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In a consensual relationship between a supervisor and a subordinate, the subordinate often is the recipient of preferential treatment.
Employees have asserted claims for sexual harassment based on the theory that they can't receive the same benefits because they are not "sleeping with the boss." However, most courts have rejected this argument because such a consensual relationship disadvantages both male and female employees equally.
The exception, of course, is where a supervisor propositions many employees, and only those who acquiesce receive preferential treatment. "No Dating" Policies An employer who wishes to do something about consensual relationships between employees has a couple of options. However, the policy must be carefully drafted to avoid several potential problems.
The first problem is that Oregon law protects spouses who work for the same employer.
When enforcing a "no dating" policy, the employer must be careful to penalize both sexes equally.
A rigid zero tolerance policy may result in the loss of two very good employees who fall in love with each other.
However, any policy that allows too much case-by-case discretion exposes the employer to discrimination claims.
Penalties for Violations of Policy: A policy that prohibits a supervisor from dating a subordinate must also describe the penalty imposed if the policy is violated.
Because men often hold more senior positions in a company, a policy that always penalizes the subordinate (e.g.
The agreement also confirms and documents that the relationship is consensual and voluntary.