HR Strange But True!
February 10, 2011

An office romance can quickly turn into an awkward situation, but as these famous couples show, sometimes they can lead to long-term relationships.

Here are a few workplace romances that grew into power couples:

  • Bill and Melinda Gates. That’s right, the richest man in America and his wife met at a press event after she joined his company, Microsoft. Bill and Melinda continue to work together, running their foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Barack and Michelle Obama. The current President of the United States and the First Lady met at a Chicago law firm, where Obama was an intern and Michelle was his mentor. Read the previous HRSBT, A Workplace Romance the Made History, for the full story on how Barack and Michelle Obama met.
  • Julie Chen and Les Moonves. This couple proves that actors aren’t the only ones in show buisness who fall in love with co-workers. CBS “Early Show” anchor Julie Chen married network head Les Moonves in 2004.

Feel inspired to have a workplace love story of your own? Be careful. Dating in the workplace can lead to problems for employers and employees, including sexual harassment and retaliation claims.

However, if cupid comes around to your cubicle, Forbes has offered some tips on “How to Succeed at Office Romance,” including:

  • Avoid dating your supervisor or supervisee, and try to date someone outside your department.
  • Sign a “love contract” to protect against a sexual harassment suit.
  • Go public, especially if the supervisor-supervisee relationship. Let HR know.
  • Don’t rush into a workplace romance. Make sure you are really interested in the person.
  • Don’t use office e-mail to send personal messages to each other.
  • Keep your love life out of the office.

Have you, or your HR department, had any issues with workplace romances? Share your story with us.



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