Office romances are common, to some degree because the office is simply the place where people socialize the most. In the same way that you once met people to date in classes in high school or at college, you may find yourself striking up relationships with people at work.
This is not always a great situation, though, and some companies even have policies to prevent it. They note that there can be a lot of negative consequences, such as:
- Experiencing jealousy from other workers
- Having other workers think you get preferential treatment
- Negative consequences when the relationship doesn’t work out
- Possible ethical violations
It’s especially problematic when your boss is the one who asks you out. Are they really interested in you or are they just trying to use their position of power to make you feel like you can’t say no? If they ask you repeatedly, are they just persistent or is that now sexual harassment? If you turn them down and then you suddenly get fired — even if they give you some other reason — is that a wrongful termination?
These are all important questions to ask, as a simple request for a date from your boss could turn into a very complex situation with some serious ramifications for your career.
If you do get fired or experience other negative reactions after rejecting the request or ending a relationship, you do need to know what legal rights you have. You must be familiar with the company policy, the state laws and all of the steps that you can take to protect yourself.