Another option is to require employees to report whenever they enter into a consensual relationship.
Maria Stewart, a partner at Austin law firm Brown Mc Carroll LLP, suggests in the Austin Business Journal that policies on dating should include a way to report relationships that have turned hostile, and that employers must be on guard against any circumstances that could amount to harassment.
She argues that any policy must be applied consistently and should set out clearly how decisions will be made.
Without a clear policy, an office relationship can lead to charges of sexual harassment and legal consequences for the employer.
Although some companies chose to have no policy on dating, that leaves them open to potential liability if a supervisor is shown to have sexually harassed a subordinate, for example, by giving a poor performance review to a former partner.
The potential for conflicts of interest in these relationships is just too great.