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Your Career: A lesson for workplace lovers – Careers- msnbc.com

“Look at Clinton and Monica Lewinsky,” she said, referring to the former president, a frequent butt of Letterman’s jokes. “You have a naïve young woman, and the leader of the free world is interested in her. That’s pretty much an aphrodisiac.”

“I’m not saying,” she added, “that that’s what happened in Letterman’s case. But he’s rich and famous and that’s attractive, and he can use his position to get women in bed.”

Many companies have policies that restrict or prohibit relationships between a boss and his or her subordinates, and violations can be career killers.

That is exactly why such relationships are frowned on in the workplace and why organizations establish guidelines for such liaisons, especially when they involve a head honcho and subordinates. Such relationships can lead to sexual favoritism, a hostile work environment and straight out sexual harassment.

“When you have a boss and subordinate relationship, one person has power over the other,” said Linda Henman, the author of “The Magnetic Boss.” “Whether that person abuses the power is irrelevant, the perception is there.”

Kearns offered three types of claims:

  • A subordinate can say they never wanted to be in the relationship in the first place and that their boss pressured them into it. “These harassment claims can arise years later,” she said.
  • Even if the relationship was consensual, claims sometimes arise afterward that a boss retaliated against the underling because she didn’t want the affair to continue.
  • And there’s the paramour claim. “People who say, ‘Gee, look at her sleeping with the boss and she’s getting all the best accounts, but I’m not getting those because I’m not sleeping with the boss,’” she said..

Your Career: A lesson for workplace lovers – Careers- msnbc.com.

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