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Can a CEO ever go out with an employee?

That being said, there is a reason why the idea of ​​a CEO marrying his secretary is cliché. Executives find partners in the office – and not just at the assistant level.

Johnny C. Taylor, CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, said he once asked a roomy CEO how many who had ever dated someone at work and about 70% raised their hand.

But in today's corporate world, especially in the wake of #MeToo, boards are on high alert for anything that poses a reputation or financial risk to the company.

At the end of October, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook abruptly resigned to have what was described as a consensus relationship with an employee. The board said Easterbrook "violated the company's policy and demonstrated poor judgment." Easterbrook even said in an email to employees that having the relationship was "a mistake" and that he agreed with the board's decision.

Nothing more is publicly known about his relationship other than what was described as consent.

] But even in a best case scenario ̵[ads1]1; where the CEO and the employee both agree, unmarried adults who have no direct contact with each other at work – can still present problems.

There are no controlling other people's beliefs

Being in a relationship with the boss will cause others to the company to suspect that favoritism is playing. And it will undermine the employee's professional performance and reputation.

"It also undermines the idea of ​​meritocracy and the idea that everyone has a fair shot," Taylor said.

Love gone bad is a potential lawsuit away wild

If a romance between a CEO and an employee is sour, it may turn out that the relationship was not as consensus as the CEO thought.

"Ultimately, many of those who begin as consensus end up complaining of harassment," said Cari Dominguez, a former head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and board member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, in an e-mail address. mail.

This, of course, creates legal problems for the CEO and company.

Some company policies will not directly prohibit relationships between managers and subordinates. But they are likely to classify them as potential conflicts of interest that can be reviewed by the board, Taylor said.

In that case, both the CEO and the employee will be required to state that they have a consensus relationship. It puts the employee on record as saying it is consent, which may undermine any claims to the contrary later.

What if the relationship is the real deal?

Dear love rules in rule books. If a relationship between a CEO and an employee is serious and they are unwilling to give up, it may make sense for the employee to leave the company, Taylor said.

It may not be ideal. But it is less than ideal when a CEO goes to an employee in the first place.

And it may make more sense than risk the board giving the boot to the CEO, staining the employee's reputation and creating uncertainty around the company's management.

"There are trade-offs when you take on the role of CEO. It's about elections, Sa Taylor.

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