When a manager dates an intern (Toughest HR Question)

Sometimes, employers do have legitimate business interests around employees' love lives
By Brian Wasyliw
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/06/2014

Question: One of our managers is dating a co-op student. Can we discipline him for this indiscretion? We don’t currently have a policy on dating in the office. If we were to consider implementing one, what are the ground rules?

Answer: The short answer is yes, you can discipline the manager. The longer answer requires a discussion of the various bases for that discipline.

Written policies dealing with workplace romance are not as common as you might think. The prevailing thought, and the correct one, is an employer has no business in the bedrooms of its employees. That being said, few would dispute an employer’s legitimate interest in preserving a safe, orderly and productive workplace and in taking reasonable steps to protect itself from liability.