<< Return to Chapter 15: General Policies
Friendships and personal relationships often develop in the workplace. Coworkers or individuals in different departments of the College are not prohibited from socializing or having personal relationships as long as it does not interfere with the work performance of either individual or with the effective functioning of the workplace.
However, staff members who engage in such relationships must accept responsibility for assuring that it does not raise issues of ethics or professionalism and must bear the burden for establishing the appropriateness of the relationship if called into question.
In a workplace or educational setting, there may be a fine line between asking someone for a date and inappropriate behavior or harassment. If someone declines a polite offer to socialize outside of work, drop the matter and do not approach the individual again.
Romantic or intimate relationships in which one individual has influence or control over the other's conditions of employment such as pay, performance evaluation, hiring, or discharge are not appropriate and must be disclosed to supervisors.
Romantic or intimate relationships between a staff member and a Swarthmore student are generally not appropriate, especially if the staff member teaches, evaluates, supervises, or is otherwise in a position to exercise control over the student.