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Saturday Night Live recently featured a skit with an overwhelmed HR manager reminding everyone of the rules.
Joshua Lybolt can understand why companies are responding aggressively to new allegations, but he also understands workplace relations: He founded Lifstyl Real Estate in Crown Point, Indiana, with his wife, Magdalena, the same year they were married.
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Increasingly organisations are implementing a written or verbal policy on workplace romance — 42% in 2013 versus 25% in 2005, according to the most recent data available from the society.
Most rules outlaw relationships between bosses and subordinates or push for “love contracts”, where workplace couples are required to disclose their relationships. “You can have a handbook and a policy and they’ll ignore everything in there, including the CEO on down,” said Joanne P Lee, a vice president at NKS Distributors in New Castle, Delaware, who has worked in human resources for 35 years.
The South African majority still has a substantial number of rural inhabitants who lead largely impoverished lives.
It is among these people, however, that cultural traditions survive most strongly; as South Africans have become increasingly urbanized and Westernised, aspects of traditional culture have declined.
Members of middle class, who are predominantly white but whose ranks include growing numbers of people of colour, have lifestyles similar in many respects to that of people found in Western Europe, North America and Australia.“We know from at least my work and some other peoples’ work that if you try to stamp out consensual attraction in the workplace, you just drive it underground,” she said.The experts say workplace romances — always fraught, risky propositions — have only gotten more anguished following the uncovering of abuses at offices nationwide.“Sometimes they think, ‘Oh, this doesn’t pertain to me.’ And I think that’s what got everyone in trouble.”Workplace romances have long played a part in pop culture, whether in the films Broadcast News, ‘Working Girl, Anchorman and Love Actually, or on TV shows like Mad Men, Cheers, The Office, and Moonlighting.One top song this holiday season is Garth Brooks’ Ugly Christmas Sweater with a line about “that pretty little girl from accounting”.