Workplace dating isn’t always smart, but should it be illegal?
Based on personal experience (ahem) I can say that dating a co-worker isn’t the smartest thing the average human can do, but does it have to be such a bad move that it’s practically…illegal? One Tennessee law enforcer thinks so, at least.
Sheriff David Andrews of the Putnam County police has implemented a rigid has no-dating and no-marrying policy for his department. He rationalizes that a no-sexing policy will help to maintain a “friendly but professional atmosphere.”
The policy reads: “Employees of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department are not allowed to date or marry one another. In the event employees wish to date one another, one of the parties must abandon his/her employment with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department.
“Romantic or sexual relations between employees at the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department are inappropriate and will result in disciplinary action up to dismissal of either or both persons involved.”
Yikes. Bit harsh, isn’t it?
You know the drill. There’s so much room for error when you’re involved with a co-worker. You’ll have to see that person every day if you break up. It might start to affect your work. You might even get caught having ‘relations’ in the janitor’s closet, resulting in a visit from HR/the firing squad.
But MOST people — especially those in corporate America — spend most of their time at the office. They have very little personal time. Therefore, dating a co-worker is practically the only option available. And, in fact, it might be a sensible option, as well: A recent CareerBuilder survey stated that 31 percent of workers said their office romance has led to marriage.
As taboo as dating a fellow employee can be, the fact is, many couples meet in the workplace.I, for one, would choose to date someone I work with and take a risk than be celibate for the rest of my life (this is a hypothetical scenario, of course).
At the end of the day, we are our own harshest critics. We might do stupid things — including dating that notorious player from sales — but, at the end of the day, it is OUR prerogative to be stupid.
The last time I checked, stupidity wasn’t against the law…