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Missouri Sexual Relationships at Work

I have a male supervisor working for me who seems to have an inappropriate relationship with one of his female employees at our Missouri firm.  Other employees that work for him are upset about what they think is going on and it is causing his entire department to go downhill fast.  If there is something going on, it is against company policy, but no one knows anything for sure.  What can I do?

The first thing you will need to do as an HR representative is to separately talk to both the supervisor and the employee involved and get their sides of the story. You would probably be surprised by the number of sex discrimination and sexual harassment complaints that can be handle quickly and efficiently just by talking to the involved parties. If you are lucky, there might have been a simple misunderstanding that can be cleared up before legal teams are called.Right now, judging the way you describe the situation, you have two people who are the victims of office gossip. Whether or not this gossip is true, the entire company suffers, as productivity is decreased along with morale and trust. Therefore, do your best to stop the gossip before it spreads any further.There are a number of things you need to watch out for and try and avoid in this situation, including stopping the gossip and performing a sound investigation. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you want to get this situation under control before it does any additional damage to the company and your teammates.You should always be aware of the threat of a sex harassment suit from the female involved.  You could even be looking at a complaint from the employee that she is working in a hostile work environment. You could also face this complaint from other employees in this department if the matter is not handled quickly.Note: You may be tempted to simply separate the supervisor and female employee so that they are both more comfortable. However, that action could harm your position by leaving you open to a sex discrimination complaint. If a supervisor can no longer discipline and enforce processes within his or her department because of such a situation, then it would probably be a good basis to move that supervisor out of his or her position.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 7th, 2007 at 12:03 am and is filed under
Hiring and Staffing, Human Resources Management, Management / Leadership Development, Termination.
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