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“If you’re head over heels about your superior or your junior and the feeling is mutual, you might want to talk to HR about potentially reassigning one of you to a different manager if you really wanted to pursue the relationship.” But Krow’s stance is that it’s “never okay” to date someone lower than you on the corporate ladder, whether or not they report to you, and regardless of whether your company has written rules about the situation. “Managers need to understand that they can be held personally liable for harassment if/when the relationship goes bad and one party makes a claim.” However, if you’re dating a coworker who works within your department, you’ll just want to disclose this to your direct boss, Davidoff tells me.
As for to do so, Krow admits it’s tough to say definitively.
I felt weird and strangely even bad about it, but my mom, who’d worked in human resources (HR) for 35 years, assured me that dating a coworker is common, as many people meet a significant other in the office.
It’s important to establish boundaries from the start to ensure you’re both on the same page regarding how the relationship is defined, says Lisa Concepcion, certified professional life coach, who specializes in dating.That issues of sexual harassment are moving closer and closer toward zero tolerance rather than a pretty normalized event to simply endure is a great thing—please don’t get me wrong—but for the appropriate, happy, consensual, unions, the inner-office spotlight can feel negative and taboo.So what, exactly, are the modern guidelines to follow for dating a coworker?“If they work in accounting and you’re in graphic design, then there’s really no need to be talking during the day,” she says.“If you work in the same department or are actually working together on projects then keep the focus on work.” You’ll also want to be cognizant of the comfort level of those around you, says sexologist Jess O’Reilly, Ph D, host of the podcast.