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Of Romance & Corporate Law/Policy
I know someone who is getting romantically involved with someone at her company. They work in different divisions, but the guy she's getting involved with is in an executive (she's not) in a division that holds some power over the employees in all the other divisions, and can technically affect her and her co-workers. He's in personnel who report and make recommendations regarding all the employees in all divisions at the company (from doing background checks on new employees to assessing the performance and suitability of current employees), at least in that building, and so he could facilitate a change (or even firing) in her position and her pay as well as that of her friends and enemies through his reviews of them--though he doesn't work alone so it's no guarantee that he'd succeed if he tried and he could be caught at it if someone were to accuse him of abuse of his position. This makes me think that ethical concerns would apply regarding such a relationship. However, he is not her boss and doesn't even work in her division (but does have at least some power over those in her division).

Can either of them get in trouble for this? She was asking me about it and I have no idea so I thought I'd ask here. (Of course I did tell her that her guy, working where he does, should be the perfect person to ask...)

I'm sorry if I'm not clear, I'm just sharing this as best I understand it (without revealing the specifics which would be a betrayal of her confidence). Corporate hierarchies and policies isn't something I'm all that familiar with (at least beyond Dilbert anyway :tongueSmile.


It would depend entirely on that companies specific policies on the subject. She should have access to these. In the past I worked for a company where similar things occurred, one or more of us would have a relative or a spouse who would submit their work as independent contractors. In those situations, to avoid any ethical quandaries, we always notified our boss and then abstained from commenting and decision making processes when it came to that person's work. Indeed, the boss actually had to forgo her participation on the board once, as someone close to her was bidding as an independent contractor. She did it graciously and accepted the boards decision when they chose another candidate with better qualifications.

Inchante hit the nail on the head, its up to the company policies.

If she signed a contract, she could look at the contract. If there is no contract/employee handbook she needs to delicately ask others in the company what company policy is.

depends on the company but it is hard times out there. if they decide to marry, move in together, long term, one or the other should start looking for a different company:
-if the company has a big layoff there would be at least one income in the family
-as a couple one or both could be targeted for a layoff
-cant show pda at work, this feels odd after a while

i think they are protected by law? you need to talk to a lawyer on the issue, may depend on the state you in too, if they want you out your gone.

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