Dating in the workplace is pretty common – you spend a lot of time together, have similar career interests, and may even work on projects together. However, dating a co-worker can create certain legal and professional challenges. Many employers forbid dating among coworkers – especially between supervisors and their subordinates – and they often have a legal right to do so. Workplace romances may result in a breach of confidentiality, reduced objectivity, slowed productivity, claims of preferential treatment, arguing on the job, and even charges of sexual harassment. On the other hand, there’s the legal risk that restricting co-workers from dating may infringe on an employee’s right to privacy and freedom from discrimination. Therefore, an employer who disciplines a worker for breaking the no-¬dating rule should be prepared to defend the action for business reasons. If it can be shown that a person was disciplined for dating someone of another race or for dating a former love interest of another coworker or supervisor, for example, then charges of discrimination may be filed. An evenhanded approach backed by a written policy, however, can help keep most employers with no¬-dating policies out of legal trouble. For more information about the legal implications of dating in the workplace, contact a labor and employment lawyer today.