Discussing workplace romance just in time for Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re struck down by cupid’s arrow or have a casual crush on a coworker, office romances are extremely common. When you spend a lot of time at work, it’s not unusual to develop a love interest when you’re on the clock.

Many employers maintain some sort of office policy regarding romantic relationships at work, but an employer may not take adverse action against an employee who has engaged in lawful conduct occurring during nonworking hours away from the employer’s premises. Simply put, it is legal for two adult peers to date and a California employer cannot discipline them for engaging in lawful conduct away from work. Some supervisory personnel may have other standards of rules that apply to them to reduce the potential of sexual harassment due to a managerial-subordinate relationship. Because of this risk, many businesses adopt policies that require employees to notify HR if they enter a romantic relationship with a subordinate. Make sure to review your company’s policies and ensure it complies with applicable state laws.

If you feel you have been illegally discriminated against by an employer or prospective employer, call to speak with an experienced Santa Barbara employment attorney to discuss your rights.