Leesa Schipani, SHRM-SCP, a partner at Glastonbury, Conn.-based HR consulting firm KardasLarson LLC, is not unsympathetic to those who meet romantic partners on the job. (After all, she met her own husband at work and voluntarily resigned to avoid a conflict of interest.) In her experience, however, workplace romances can sometimes create problems, and a satisfactory solution can’t always be reached.
At one company, Schipani was presented with a situation where the regional vice president was involved with a woman who reported to him. “We talked to them and said, ‘One of you either needs to move to a different area or leave the company,’ ” Schipani says. The woman ended up leaving, with the company doing “everything we could” to help with her job search, she adds.
But in another case, a subordinate was involved with a supervisor—one was married—and the two would not-so-coincidentally end up in the same place, and same hotel, during business trips paid for by the company.
“It turned out to be really messy,” Schipani says. “They thought they were being discreet.” The pair had lost so much credibility in the organization that both were terminated.
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