Research: Nearly half of employers frown on workplace romance

The ouster of McDonald’s respected CEO this week underscores the fraught nature of pursuing flings or flirtation in today’s environment.

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Romance can bring joy, spice and warmth to any workplace, but certain sparks can ignite fiery PR fiascos.

New research from Reboot Digital Marketing finds that 46% of employers would much prefer that you pursue love interests outside the office—especially if you hold a position of power.

As illustrated by McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook’s ouster—who lost his job (but not $70 million worth of stock options) due to a “consensual relationship with a subordinate”— managers, bosses and execs should be especially wary of pursuing intimate relationships. However, there’s a strong trend toward discouraging office flings altogether.

As SHRM writes: “[workplace romance] creates the potential for intimidation, retaliation or sexual-harassment claims, as well as real or perceived favoritism.”

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