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Love at work - what does the boss need to know?

When love causes trouble in the workplace

Love is beautiful - no question about it - but at work it is often rather complicated. Especially when the boss is the steady partner, there is often gossip and jealousy scenes in the office.

There are couples in every workplace - but not all show their love openly. Many have fears and wonder whether the boss should be allowed to forbid relationships in the workplace or whether there may be consequences under labor law. We answer a few questions about this.

Does the boss need to know about his own love life?

Basically, your own love life is an absolute private matter - even if the relationship begins at work. So the boss doesn't need to know. The relationship should be made public if it is serious and has a future. The couple should be aware that professional and private must be clearly separated. So some rules have to be observed. Private messages to loved ones have no place in the business e-mail inbox. Likewise, physical intimacies, relationship disputes or nicknames have no place in the office. Otherwise the boss can intervene.

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Is a relationship between colleagues allowed?

Of course, private relationships between colleagues are allowed. Everyone has the right under Article 2, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law to the free development of their personality. This also includes being able to have a love affair with a colleague. The boss is only allowed to demand the workforce as such from his employees - nothing more.

But there are employers who are very open to relationships between colleagues or who would like to be informed immediately about possible relationships. Such requirements or even bans are ineffective in any case. The American company Wal-Mart, for example, wanted to forbid its employees in German branches from going out with colleagues or starting a love affair. This ban was overturned by the Düsseldorf Regional Labor Court (Az. 10 TaBV 46/05).

The IT company Dell takes a completely different approach here. If the HR department becomes aware of a relationship between colleagues at different hierarchical levels, this is where the conversation is sought. Together they then consider whether it would be better to place one of the two in a different department so that disruptions in the team can be prevented.

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What about a relationship with the boss?

Relationships between employees and the boss are more problematic - but of course these are also allowed. A little more sensitivity is required here. In order not to create an unnecessary atmosphere in the office, such a partnership should initially be kept secret. When the initial phase is over, however, it is a good idea to make the relationship public.

What are the possible consequences under labor law?

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The relationship itself must not have any negative consequences. However, if private messages are sent on the company PC or working hours are spent with the partner rather than at work, a warning or even a termination is the result. If tensions and conflicts of interest arise as a result of the partnership, the employer may intervene on a professional level. He may prevent the disruptive behavior, for example by transferring or issuing a warning. Of course, he is not allowed to interfere in the relationship itself.

A relationship in the workplace requires a professional approach from everyone involved - this applies in the initial phase but also especially when the relationship ends. Before announcing their love, both partners should think carefully about the possible consequences and expect possible inconvenience. In particular, those involved should be aware of what a possible separation would mean for the joint collaboration.


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Remember!

Since labor law matters should be resolved quickly, we always have an initial consultation appointment immediately. If possible on the same day, otherwise next day. Write us a message or call us directly. We can be reached by phone from Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


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Remember!

Since labor law matters should be resolved quickly, we always have an initial consultation appointment immediately. If possible on the same day, otherwise next day. Write us a message or call us directly. We can be reached by phone from Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.