Some companies have policies against office romances, especially between an employee and their boss. Even so, since people spend so much time together at work, these romances are common.
In one case, a worker said that they wanted to date their boss, but she told them she was going to keep her job. To go out with her boss, the employee would need to quit. While legal experts noted that it’s certainly best to go to HR and find out what the company’s policy looks like, this is one potential way to get around the anti-dating rules.
The worker asked, though, if it was discrimination to “make” them quit their job.
The answer is that it could be, depending on the situation. First off, if they chose to quit to pursue a romantic relationship, that’s different than being forced to quit. Secondly, if the policy says that they can’t date coworkers and they quit to get around it, that in and of itself is not discrimination. The company can legally have that policy.
The key is that it must apply to everyone. If they let some workers have office relationships but tell others that one of them must quit, that could be discrimination, especially if those who are told to quit are all from a similar group: For instance, if only the female workers are told to quit.
These situations can get complex, which is the very reason that a lot of companies prohibit these relationships. If you find yourself wondering about discrimination or other illegal practices, be sure you know what options you have.