Supervisors dating subordinates
Most government, military, and business organizations have some type of fraternization policy that applies to superior-subordinate sex.
The purposes of such policies include concerns that such relationships may be the product of subtle or not-so-subtle coercion, may lead to favoritism for the subordinate, may undermine other employees' morale, may undermine the organization's reputation for fairness, may lead to retaliation suits, may embarrass the entity in public and may, in other ways, impair the effective, non-biased functioning of the organization.
Higher standards may apply when the superior is the head of the organization rather than a mid-level leader.
Working together, the two can cover a lot of tracks.A third risk is that a breakup could lead to a revenge-motivated lawsuit by the subordinate claiming that the relationship was never consensual.Finally, any disciplinary action against the subordinate could lead to a retaliatory lawsuit. In my opinion, it is never okay for a supervisor to date a subordinate.Even if policies don't prohibit these relationships, this is a consideration that whoever is in the power position needs to consider seriously.Any kind of favoritism toward one employee over others is obviously a concern in the workplace.
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But a lot of companies don't let the rank and file decide--they adopt policies that ban or limit workplace dating--all in the name of lowering liability.