Love in the Workplace

Another update from the HR jungle…

Bobby supervises the day shift crew for his company. A few months ago he became romantically involved with one of his subordinates. Then they broke up.

When Bobby verbally counseled the subordinate about poor attendance she countered with a complaint of harassment. A few weeks later when Bobby proceeded to a written warning about attendance she complained to the owner (John) about sexual harassment and a hostile workplace. That was John’s first clue that he had a problem.

John’s company grew organically over the past few years and has few formal processes for handling employee complaints. There is no HR department, only a payroll administrator who coordinates payroll matters with the CPA firm that handles John’s business and personal tax matters.

What should John do next?

1. He needs to immediately investigate and resolve the complaint against Bobby. He may want to hire a third party to conduct the investigation to demonstrate that the process will be neutral and fair to all parties.
2. He needs to decide how to avoid similar situations in the future perhaps by creating an explicit non-fraternization policy.
3. Most importantly, he needs to create some human resources policies appropriate for the size of his company so that employees know what is expected of them and what they can expect from John’s company.

Has your company faced similar problems and wondered what to do next? Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help your company to create the HR policies that fit your situation and then be a resource to your staff.

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