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Dating In The Workplace And Sexual Harrasment: How To Determine Which Is Which

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There used to be no denying that someone at work was interested in you. If you reciprocated the feeling, a little flirting back definitely got attention. You may even finally go out. 

Now, office romance is so incredibly difficult. Sure, there may still be mutual attraction for someone, or there seems to be. Yet, how do you know for certain when everything you used to be able to say to a co-worker is now completely off-limits because of sexual harassment laws? The good news is, you could always consult a sexual harassment attorney in order to get a clear-cut answer and some solutions to your problem. Here is how dating in the workplace works now, and what a sexual harassment attorney would deem inappropriate and lawsuit-worthy, so that you can avoid both the dating confusion and the inappropriate and awkward actions. 

Drop the Flirting

​A lot of times, flirting skirts on the edge of inappropriateness, especially at work. Sexual comments are often part of the flirtation game still, but these comments are not allowed at work. Even if the two people in question definitely do not mind the comments exchanged, someone else who overhears comments with a slightly sexual overtone might be uncomfortable and report you to HR. Instead, drop the sexy, racy, or flirtatious double entendres. Opt for straight shooting questions instead. Try something like "I like you. Do you like me? Do you like me enough to go on a date with me?" If the other person responds no, drop it, apologize, and move on. 

NO Sexting!

New relationships, especially in the office, are exciting. They tend to be taboo, per order of the company, which is why so many people find them exciting. However, sexting can get you into a lot of trouble, including getting fired if you accidentally send a nude photo of yourself to the wrong person in the office. Keep the sexts out of the office, and out of the relationship. (Racy voicemails to someone you are definitely in a relationship with are still okay, but you have to drop such behaviors the minute the relationship ends.)

​Always Keep in Mind That Sexual Harassment Is ​Unwanted

​Sexual harassment laws are all about people who do not want sexual attention from co-workers or anyone else. If the behavior makes someone feel humiliated or extremely uncomfortable, that is harassment. If the behaviors are constant and ongoing, that is harassment. Sometimes such behaviors between two people in the office who are dating may still be harassment if it causes someone to feel awkward or uncomfortable around everyone else at work. Just keep that in mind when you want to pursue someone as a love interest at work.