And when romance blooms at the office—especially with the boss—it’s disruptive to other employees, triggering questions about fairness, favoritism, transparency, credibility and accountability.The distraction can tear at even the most cohesive group.So, from both the business and ethical perspectives—to keep your staff from getting distracted by a soap opera and to give the employee involved an opportunity to leave a complicated situation and come out even (or ahead) professionally—you should focus on separating the work and romantic relationships.Once you have this situation sorted out, I recommend taking a look at the larger issue of interoffice romances.If she agrees that it would be best for her to move on, ask people in your network if they know of an equivalent—or, ideally, better—position at another company.(But keep your clients and vendors off the list of prospects—that’s just another ethical mess waiting to happen.) Yes, your partner could take a leave of absence to pursue other professional options and remove himself from day-to-day business decisions, but that doesn’t sound like a good long-term fix.He says that since both parties are single, and the relationship is consensual, it’s a private matter.I told him I’d check with our attorney about potential legal issues, but I’m concerned that this is an ethics minefield. Q: My business partner is dating one of his direct reports.
Pachter says there should never be any physical displays of affection when in a professional setting.
According to a Payscale office romance report, 15% of the 42,000 respondents said they would date someone they work with.
And one out of five people who gave romance with a coworker a shot ended up marrying their relationship private.
Playing musical chairs with direct reports does not solve the ethical issues that come with this interoffice romance.
As owners, both of you are responsible for setting the tone for the organization and for modeling behavior expected of all employees.