Sometimes, office romances hit the headlines and ruin careers, like CNN Head Jeffrey Zucker’s Affair With Allison Golst And this University of Michigan President, Mark Schlissel who had an affair With direct reports.
But most office romance flies under the radar—except when it doesn’t. All that contact tracing when someone tested positive for Covid? Turns out that HR noticed when Jen and John appeared on lists as always being together.
Although, honestly, the rules are designed to protect you and the company. And a little tip from the human resources department: A third of office romances end with someone getting fired. If you want to know why that number is so high, heed these cautionary tales Evil HR Lady Facebook Group,
a double firing
If you think like this, as long as you don’t report to each other, you’ll be fine–that’s probably the case. Unless you bring your physical relationship into the office. This HR person writes:
In my first HR job, the benefits manager would regularly meet with the IT manager in the basement bathroom. They were both married. When the owner found out what they were doing in “his favorite bathroom,” he fired them both.
Vendors should also be off limits.
When you find true love, it doesn’t entitle that person to sell expensive systems to your company. And, really, you should disassociate yourself from the purchase decision or at least disclose that you are in a relationship with a seller.
she was also married, and
This HR director had an employee who was working hard for a new HR/payroll system. She was the expert, so the human resources director trusted her – until they found out she had a relationship with the salesperson.
It turned out that she was married and her husband was not happy. “She sent letters to our President and Board of Directors informing them of their conflicts of interest. Had a full conversation with her and the President and she vehemently denied all, claiming that she and her husband were out and that he was just out. was bitter and is trying to ruin her by any means possible.”
The employee resigned on the whole mess.
The rules you might see as restrictive are trying to protect you (and your career) from yourself.)
When even HR doesn’t follow the rules
This poor HR person found a new HR director who immediately began a relationship with another department director. She writes:
They went on a company leadership retreat and apparently that’s when they made it “official”. On his return from the retreat he attended a company holiday party. After the CEO left, they started doing salsa and grinned at each other. When both of them went together, everyone was surprised. Both of them were terminated for gross misconduct.
So, if you have to bump and grind with a coworker, do it at a bar and not an office party.
He should have failed the background check
HR just wants the company to run smoothly and they don’t want any of their employees to end the news at six for illegal behavior. This HR person had to deal with an apparent on-site affair and arrest. She writes:
A department manager was sleeping with his assistant department manager (ADM). He tried to keep it a secret. They would lock the door of the office and take out the messy clothes and messy hair.
One day at lunch, I’m chatting with another team leader in the break room and we hear, “Oh, it’s not like that. [ADM’s Name],
ADM was 1 of 9 men who were busted in a prostitution ring and the story went on the news all day. I had to turn off the TV and hide the remote as the staff kept turning to the news – the story played over and over again as breaking news.
LOL what a mess.
There are no benefits of sleeping with the boss
One reason for restricting relationships between managers and employees is to prevent preferential behavior. Well, this manager followed that guideline to a T and rated her boyfriend poorly on the year-end performance appraisal. He was sad. The HR manager shared what happened next:
Direct Report got mad at her low score (and no increase), so she passed the beans to her husband, who also worked for our company. It was fun watching the chaos from the sidelines, to say the least.
Maybe it’s best to leave the romance out of the office and just meet people online. Anyway, that’s what most people do nowadays. According to a study by Stanford University, That way when things go south, it doesn’t cause a scandal at work.