Poll Finds Little Support for Office Dating Ban

February 9, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Only a small percentage of HR professionals and employees in a recent poll said they supported a workplace dating ban.

Four percent of human resource (HR) professionals and 14% held this view according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Wall Street Journal’s CareerJournal.com, HR.BLR.com reported.

However, 80% of HR professionals and 60% of employees oppose dating between a supervisor and a subordinate, the survey found.

The 2006 survey found that more than 70% of organizations have no policies on workplace romance, and of those that do, the vast majority discourage dating rather than forbid it. Only 9% of organizations have an outright workplace dating ban.

HR professionals may be shifting their concerns about problems stemming from workplace romance, according to the survey. In a similar poll conducted in 2001, 95% of HR professionals said they feared sexual harassment claims would stem from office romances, and 12% reported that they were concerned about retaliation or conflicts between co-workers after a relationship ended.

However, in the 2006 survey, 77% of HR professionals reported sexual harassment concerns, and 67% said they had concerns about retaliation.

The latest survey included responses from 493 HR professionals and 408 employees.