New York, NY – We spend so many hours at work that sometimes relationships between two coworkers develops. In a past survey, Psychology Today found that 47 percent of respondents admitted to dating a coworker or having a relationship with one at least once during their working lives. That then raises a question for New York employers: Do I allow coworkers to date? And if I do, can I be sued for sexual harassment?

Some New York employers have a strict policy against allowing coworkers to date, while other employers don’t seem to mind. They have no official policy against it and don’t stop employees when they do date. But this can be a mistake and when the relationship goes south, the animosity between dating coworkers can spill over and affect other employees.

On some occasions when the office romance doesn’t last, the two parties can still get along and not force the drama of their breakup on their workplace or coworkers. That’s an ideal situation, but not always the reality and sometimes a breakup gets nasty and becomes an issue in the workplace.

A broken relationship can become sexual harassment if one of the parties make inappropriate comments about their ex’s body, appearance of sex life. Groping, touching or asking an ex for sexual relations is also considered sexual harassment and an employer may be called on to correct. Failing to do so could lead to a sexual harassment suit and a long, drawn out process for all parties involved.

This scenario happens often but employers face the biggest risk of a sexual harassment suit with a workplace romance is when it involves a supervisor and a subordinate employee. For instance, if a supervisor uses their position to coerce their ex into continuing a physical relationship by threatening to let them go, denying their ex from getting a raise or a promotion.  This is called quid pro quo harassment and can be very toxic to a workplace. It means “this for that” in Latin.

If an employer encounters quid pro quo harassment they must make swift corrective actions, otherwise the harassment victim will have grounds to retain a sexual harassment attorney in New York and the seek compensation for the abuse they endured.

Many employers just don’t allow coworkers to date and the ones that do go to great lengths to protect themselves against a workplace discrimination claim. This is a wise idea since a sexual harassment case can be very time consuming and costly for them.

If you are facing harassment or discrimination, USAttorneys urges you to consult with a sexual harassment attorney in New York. They will help you end the abuse and get the compensation you deserve for your treatment.