If a supervisor is dating an employee

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Some owners have created or updated their policies on dating and sexual harassment, and they're making sure staffers know the rules and to speak up if they feel harassed.

Bosses who in the past just watched with interest as a relationship blossomed are being proactive, telling couples that if the romance sours, both people are expected to behave appropriately.

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It happens in so many workplaces — two colleagues begin a romantic relationship.

"I told them, 'You guys have to stop this or someone's going to have to find another job,'" Musovic recalls. On another occasion, Musovic fired an employee who wrote unwanted love letters to a co-worker.

Jacqueline Breslin, an executive with HR provider Tri Net, is fielding more questions from businesses that want to know how to handle employees dating.

It's also very difficult for the rest of the team, in terms of issues of favouritism or undermining the bosses credibility around maintaining objectivity.

In fact, most people that are in a relationship with the boss get treated in a much harsher way by the boss to show there is no favouritism.

But a heightened awareness about sexual harassment means small business owners can get more anxious when employees start dating.

Many owners have consulted with employment attorneys or human resources professionals since the accusations against movie executive Harvey Weinstein in November.

After the reports about Weinstein and others, Musovic consulted with an attorney to understand what his legal liability could be if an employee relationship led to harassment charges.

He decided against changing his policy that allows dating, but he's keeping a closer eye on interactions between employees.

The board of one of Australia's top companies, QBE, recently stripped its chief executive of 0,000 because he failed to disclose his relationship with his executive assistant, who has since resigned.

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