Facebook, Google, and other Silicon Valley companies are reportedly restricting employee relationships and dating practices with company dating policies.
Employees at Facebook and Google are only allowed to ask out colleagues on a date once, and if they decline or simply reply that they’re busy, asking another time can open them up to sexual harassment allegations and disciplinary action.
“One rule at Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google: Employees are only allowed to ask a co-worker out once. If they are turned down, they don’t get to ask again,” reported the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. “Ambiguous answers such as ‘I’m busy’ or ‘I can’t that night,’ count as a ‘no,’ said Heidi Swartz, Facebook’s global head of employment law.”
Google has had a “dating policy” since 2004, meanwhile, couples at major tech companies are reportedly signing “love contracts — in which a couple agrees to behave professionally at work and acknowledges they weren’t coerced into the relationship.”
Restrictive dating policies, which aim to curb sexual harassment, are also present in other technology companies, including Asana, where Facebook co-Founder Dustin Moskovitz is currently CEO.
“In early January, four women at Asana — three from human resources and one from marketing — gathered around an oversize conference table to tackle the San Francisco-based software startup’s first-ever dating policy,” the Wall Street Journal documented. “As they looked up at a large-screen projection of the document, the women labored over how to define a workplace romance, tweaking it and deleting phrases that described it as a mutual attraction between two employees.”
During the meeting, Asana’s Head of People Operations Anna Binder proclaimed, “I want to be reasonable… I just don’t want to be policing every kiss,” however employees at another tech company, Fish Bowl, have reportedly “started shying away from office banter or complimenting colleagues on their appearance.”