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The Law and Workplace Dating
  1. Read PDF Inter-Office Relations
  2. 1. Do not allow managers to have romantic relationships with subordinate employees -- full stop.
  3. Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs

Employers are likely able to implement less drastic measures i. The most serious liabilities that employers face when inter-office relationships move beyond the typical co-worker relationship are discrimination and sexual harassment claims from their employees. Unwelcome sexualized conduct is viewed as a form of sexual harassment, and there is a fine line that exists between workplace flirtation and harassment. Failure to do so could bring significant liability against the employer.

Ensuring that the relationship is consensual is of utmost importance, although it may be difficult to determine whether an intimate relationship between a superior and their subordinate is truly consensual, given the power imbalance that often exists. Anti-discrimination and harassment policies may not be enough when considering the serious legal liabilities employers could face when these relationships occur.

This is why it makes sense for an employer to have a workplace dating policy and share it with all of its employees. For employees the main question to be answered is: Can an intimate relationship lead to termination of employment? Likely not. However, if there is a workplace dating policy in place and an employee lies or misleads an employer when confronted about the relationship, especially if that employee is in a high position of trust or authority with the company, there may be grounds for termination. Many policies will stipulate that if you are in breach of a workplace policy, there may be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

Cavaliere v. Corvex Manufacturing is a notable court case featuring a senior-management employee who was dismissed for cause without severance pay for engaging in sexual relationships with two subordinates over several years. The court found that managerial employees have an implied obligation in their employment contracts to ensure that the workplace does not become poisoned due to sexual harassment, and to protect the employer from potential legal action for such harassment.

Read PDF Inter-Office Relations

The court also decided that even though consensual, the women were subordinate and vulnerable thus creating a poisoned work environment. While employers may be able to establish just cause for termination when dealing with relationships that cross power, they should not jump the gun and immediately terminate an employee when a relationship is revealed.

Office Romances

Whether you are an employee or employer, if you are uncertain about the legal implications of a workplace relationship, it is always a good idea to consult with an employment lawyer to determine the best course of action. He is often called upon by local media to comment on topics concerning labour and employment law matters.

From Date. On the other hand, many view workplace relationships as an inevitable byproduct of today's interconnected world. This trend may continue to gain steam. For example, polling suggests millennials are much more open to office romance than their older counterparts. Given these competing concerns, how can you craft employment policies which protect both your employees and your business? Again, there are no laws which prohibit employee dating per se. Of course, as with any personnel policy or practice, decisions around employee dating will be subject to general anti-discrimination scrutiny.

This means employers can face discrimination liability if, for example, it is shown they permitted dating among employees who are under 40 but not among employees over 40, among straight employees but not gay employees and the like. Beyond these risks, the primary concern around workplace dating is that, one day, a participant in the relationship scorned or otherwise later claims the relationship was in fact a form of sex harassment.

Notably for purposes of employee dating, there has also been some litigation surrounding "sexual favoritism," or the theory that it is unlawful discrimination for an employee to show preferential treatment to that person's romantic partner at the expense of other employees not involved in the relationship although -- full disclaimer -- courts are not uniformly aligned on this issue, and employers in many instances may have sound legal and factual defenses. No matter how you look at it, both legal and practical risks abound when someone has to supervise or even indirectly analyze or critique the work performance of their special someone.

With this legal backdrop in mind, here are a few tips for crafting non-fraternization policies:. All the risks associated with interoffice dating are exacerbated when there is an inherent power imbalance between a supervisor and that person's subordinate. However, if you find yourself in a situation in which you believe you have no choice operationally but to allow such a relationship, actively manage the risk.

Do not bury your head in the sand and hope things work out. Change, even if it brings intrinsic rewards like decreased days in accounts receivable, increased margin to facilitate growth , can be difficult. By celebrating the improvements — even little ones — like putting new processes in place, you encourage and engage people to take ownership of the process. Celebrating the wins helps create advocates and lets your team know you appreciate their work.

1. Do not allow managers to have romantic relationships with subordinate employees -- full stop.

To learn more, contact one of our revenue cycle specialists. A version of this article was previously published on the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. As we find ourselves in a fast-moving, strong business growth environment, there is no better time to consider the controls needed to enhance your IT security as you implement new, high-demand technology and software to allow your organization to thrive and grow.

Here are five risks you need to take care of if you want to build or maintain strong IT security. We rely daily on our business partners and vendors to make the work we do happen. With a focus on IT, third-party vendors are a potential weak link in the information security chain and may expose your organization to risk.

However, though a data breach may be the fault of a third-party, you are still responsible for it. Potential data breaches and exposure of customer information may occur, leaving you to explain to customers and clients answers and explanations you may not have. Though software as a service SaaS providers, along with other IT third-party services, have been around for well over a decade now, we still neglect our businesses by not considering and addressing third-party risk.

These third-party providers likely store, maintain, and access company data, which could potentially contain personally identifiable information names, social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses , financial information credit cards or banking information , and healthcare information of your customers. In many cases, procurement and contracting policies likely have language in contracts that already establish requirements for third-parties related to IT security; however the enforcement of such requirements and awareness of what is written in the contract is not enforced or is collected, put in a file, and not reviewed.

Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs

What can you do about it? It is paramount that all organizations no matter their size have a comprehensive vendor management program that goes beyond contracting requirements in place to defend themselves against third-party risk which includes:. Although there is little expectation of an American federal requirement for data protection, individual states and other regulating organizations are introducing requirements.

Each new regulation seeks to protect consumer privacy but the specifics and enforcement of each differ. In , Maine passed the toughest law on telecommunications providers for selling consumer information.

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Additional privacy and breach laws are in discussion or on the table for many states including Colorado, Delaware, Ohio, Oregon, Ohio, Vermont, and Washington, amongst others. New laws are expected to not only address the protection of customer data, but also employee information. All organizations should monitor proposed legislation and be aware of the potential enforceable requirements. The good news is that there are a lot of resources out there and, in most cases, legislative requirements allow for grace periods to allow organizations to develop a complete understanding of proposed laws and implement needed controls.

We all work with people who have thousands of emails in their inbox in some cases, dating back several years. The amount of data we generate in a day is massive. Forbes estimates that we generate 2. In addition to the security risk that all this data poses, it also may expose an organization to liability in the event of a lawsuit of investigation. Organizations should first complete a full data inventory and understand what types of data they maintain and handle, and where and how they store that data. Next, organizations can develop a data retention policy that meets their needs. Utilizing backup storage media may be a solution that helps reduce the need to store and maintain a large amount of data on internal systems.

Across industries and regardless of organization size, the most common problem we see is the absence of basic controls for IT security. Every organization, no matter their size, should work to ensure they have controls in place. Some must-haves:.

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Simple deterrents will help thwarting hackers. Smaller organizations can consider using third-party security providers, if they are not able to implement basic IT security measures. From our experience, small organizations are being held to the same data security and privacy expectations by their customers as larger competitors and need to be able to provide assurance that controls are in place. Unemployment rates are at an all-time low, and the demand for IT security experts at an all-time high. In fact, Monster. Organizations should be highly focused on employee retention and training to keep current employees up-to-speed on technology and security trends.

For years we have told our clients they need to create and foster a culture of security from the top down, and that IT security must be considered more than just an overhead cost. It needs to align with overall business strategy and goals. Offering training to security personnel allows them to stay abreast of current topics, but it also shows those employees you value their knowledge and the work they do. Reducing turnover rate of IT personnel is critical to IT security success. Continuously having to retrain and onboard employees is both costly and time-consuming. High turnover impacts your culture and also hampers your ability to grow and expand a security program.

Making the effort to empower and train all employees is a powerful way to demonstrate your appreciation and support of the employees within your organization—and keep your data more secure. Ensuring that you have a stable and established IT security program in place by considering the above risks will help your organization adapt to technology changes and create more than just an IT security program, but a culture of security minded employees.

Our team of IT security and control experts can help your organization create and implement controls needed to consider emerging IT risks. For more information, contact the team. GLBA, also known as the Financial Modernization Act, is a federal law providing rules to financial institutions for protecting consumer information. Colleges and universities fall under this act because they conduct financial activities e.