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If your relationship turns sour you may be able to kick your former lover out of bed, only to bump into them two hours later at the water cooler.The risk is surely greater when the relationship is between colleagues of different ranks. Is the subordinate likely to sleep their way to the top, or find themselves shredded and tossed in the recycling bin like yesterday’s confidential memoranda?You know Christopher Smith is motivated and gets along well with his colleagues.In recent months, you heard that Christopher has also been getting along well with his current supervisor, Patricia Cummings, a Senior Manager in the California office.In fact, Christopher and Patricia are now in a romantic relationship.So, these volunteers were led to believe that a male candidate and his female superior were in a relationship.When we hear that a woman is dating her boss, we shrug.

Volunteers were split into four groups, and each group read a different statement.The other half of the volunteers read a statement that simply described Patricia as Christopher’s boss (or Peter as Christine’s boss), with no reference to their workplace romance.All the volunteers were then asked to rate the suitability of the candidate for the prestigious training program.While employers have a duty to prevent sexual harassment, developing a prevention plan can be difficult.We suggest the following measures: With some foresight and planning, you can help your company avoid becoming the subject of another local medical or EEOC report.