Employee Fraternization Policy Template

The right fraternization policy minimizes the impact of negative encounters in the workplace. This is in conjunction with maximizing positive aspects that can arise from employee relationships.

Below is our employee fraternization policy template. You can use it as a starting point towards customizing your own employment policies.

Policy Motivation

This fraternization policy provides employees with a framework for personal relationships. It offers protocols for acceptable social behavior in the workplace.

Note that this policy is not meant to police employees against dating coworkers. Our organization believes in and supports freedom of choice and agency.

This policy’s main purpose is to set guidelines for professional conduct.

We seek to maintain the highest level of order in the workplace. Without these guidelines, personal relationships among employees may affect workflow.

Who This Policy Applies to

This fraternization policy gives all employees a framework for personal workplace relationships. It will outline specifics of acceptable behavior in the workplace.

The policy covers both romantic and platonic interactions.

Friendships are a key driver for collaboration at work. But we are cognizant of the fact that they can create unintentional fragmentations.

An example is the emergence of cliques within departments.

Policy Features

Workplace Dating

Certain issues may arise as a result of dating between employees. These are a few examples:

  • Personal arguments or breakups leading to inability to collaborate. Fighting couples can also affect team dynamics.
  • Dating couples spending too much time socializing rather than focusing on work duties.
  • Cases of sexual harassment caused by supervisor-subordinate dating may arise upon termination.
  • Executive employees dating lower-ranked workers may face the temptation of engaging in favoritism.

Employees are thus advised to follow these guidelines:

  • Before initiating a romantic relationship, consider the conflict of interest. Weigh the cost versus benefit of proceeding.
  • Always let HR know the status of your romantic or intimate relationships at work.
  • All personal conversations or engagements should happen away from the workplace.
  • No matter the status of your relationship, maintain professionalism while at work.
  • If need be, seek support from our HR specialized employees, e.g., in-house counselor, therapist or psychologist.
  • In case of serious issues in your relationship, seek solutions from HR. You may request, for example, a departmental transfer.

Inappropriate Behavior

Certain actions become unacceptable behaviors while at work. These include any activities that:

  • Offend coworkers.
  • Interrupt or prevent normal business functions.
  • Disrupt or hinder business operations.
  • Create distractions for other employees.
  • Affect individual performances.

These also include any activities that lead to time lost, such as:

  • Personal arguments during working hours.
  • Public displays of affection.
  • Extreme exchanges of unrelated texts and calls.
  • Discussing the nature of said relationship during working hours.

Acceptable Behavior

People dating may from time to time:

  • Engage in non-work related discussions, within reason.
  • Be affectionate – discreetly and rarely while at work.
  • Have lunch together.
  • Enter and exit the workplace together.

Repeated inappropriate behaviors will lead to progressive disciplinary action. This may include termination of employment, subject to determination by HR.

Employees who are dating may not face hostility or victimization from their colleagues.

We expect decorum at all times. This includes gossiping, out of turn remarks, or jokes and comments of a sexual nature. Please inform HR should you witness such behaviors.

All employees have a mandate to follow our Code of Conduct at all times.

Dating Executives

Our policy prohibits dating between managers or supervisors and the staff who report to them.

This protocol is to prevent any arising claims of sexual harassment and abuse of authority.

It applies to all supervisors who are at least two ranks higher than an employee. This is irrespective of the department or team.

Managers should not date any employee that reports to them. Ignoring this rule may result in serious disciplinary action and/or dismissal.

HR may consider some manager-subordinate relationships, but they must work in separate departments.

We advise all employees not to hide their consensual relationships from HR. Doing so will lead to disciplinary action upon discovery.

Instead, allow HR evaluation for each case. We will find an appropriate solution for everyone’s convenience.

Dating employees will not face victimization nor denied benefits for disclosing their relations.

But the manager may face disciplinary action, depending on the circumstances. Those who disregard this rule may face termination.

Married or Cohabiting Couples

Married or cohabiting couples should follow the general rules discussed above.

A hiring manager cannot consider a spouse or domestic partner for any open roles in the company.

They may instead refer their partner to other departments. They must do this for positions over which they have no authority or hiring control.

We are an equal opportunity employer. Favoritism or its implication is unacceptable.

HR may reprimand a manager acting contrary to this rule. They may also move the manager and their partner to another department or branch.

Friendships at Work

Friendships in the workplace are natural and encouraged. They promote harmony and boost project collaboration due to the rapport established.

Yet, as is the nature of humanity, some negative situations may occur. These include:

  • Disputes related to borrowed money
  • Incessant gossiping
  • Gossip about colleagues and acquaintances
  • Workplace cliques
  • Unhealthy competition

To avoid the above, we ask all employees to:

  • Follow the proper process for conflict resolution.
  • Avoid handling non-work related disagreements while at work.
  • Maintain professionalism at all times as outlined in the Code of Conduct.
  • Keep their focus on work, rather than socializing in the workplace.

Friendships With Managers

While friendships with supervisors are beneficial, they can also cause workplace conflicts.

This leads to blurring the line between professionalism and friendship.

Friendships with managers may lead to intended or unintended cases of favoritism. They may also affect team morale.

Due to these reasons, we do not support friendships between supervisors and subordinates.

We encourage all employees to aim for a harmonious and collaborative work environment. This is possible without including personal affairs.

Transparency

The main aim of this policy is to encourage openness among all employees.

As a company, we cannot force employees not to engage in personal associations. We know that this can only breed resentment and dissent in the workplace.

We encourage all employees to be transparent about all personal relationships. This is not to draw attention to themselves but to keep all matters open and professional.

The HR department is at everyone’s disposal to explain this policy and its implications. This includes all its terms of engagement and disciplinary measures in greater detail.

Our Commitment

As a company, we commit to keeping the workplace as cordial as possible. We will follow through on our business responsibility to:

  • Ensure policy implementation across the entire organization, regardless of rank or department.
  • Maintain fairness in cases of disciplinary action.
  • Prevent or act upon all forms of violence, victimization, and retaliation.
  • Carefully consider every case brought to HR.

Note that each employee must abide by our no-discrimination policy.

We will not penalize couples due to their sexual orientation. The policy rules apply to everyone.

Additionally, we will not transfer dating couples based on gender. We will respect all employees’ individual legal rights and freedoms.

Disclaimer: This information is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor World Manager will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this information.

The best companies use World Manager to train staff, maintain standards, and set the company up on the road to success.