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May 1, 2006

How To Date A Coworker Without Drama

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Photo Credit: H. Weis/Getty Image

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Respect the rules: Canoodling with a coworker might cause real trouble, so make sure you know your company's policy (ask HR or check the employee handbook) before things progress beyond furtive glances across a conference table. Know who's off-limits: "Avoid dating anyone you report to, and anyone who reports to you," says Marilyn Puder-York, author of The Office Survival Guide: Surefire Techniques for Dealing with Challenging People and Situations. "Dating your boss or subordinate can put both your job security and the company itself at risk," she says.To tell or not to tell? "You're not obligated to inform your boss of what's going on — unless there's a conflict of interest involved," says Puder-York. If there is, fess up and ask to be transferred to a different department or project. Keep it professional: Do your flirting, and your fighting, outside the office. Refrain from sexy voice mails or e-mails on company phones or computers. And resist the urge to share dating details with coworkers: Remember, he may be your new boyfriend, but to everyone else, he's still Jim from accounting.

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