How can I respond to a CEO asking me to terminate an employee for reasons I disagree with?

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21

I am managing a technical team and a woman in QA has gotten engaged to one of my male developers.

The CEO phoned to ask me to terminate the woman working in QA (providing two months of salary required for legal termination. As this termination is considered as Arbitrary Termination and illegal in our law) because her fiancée is a hard-working professional developer. I do not agree that she has done anything meriting her being fired, and we have no written policy against getting engaged/marrying other employees within the company.

I feel strongly enough about this that I am willing to leave my job for the sake of justice and to take the right action.

How can I get the CEO to change his mind about this decision?

UPDATE
I have told him clearly that I am totally against micromanagement. And it is my responsibility to manage my team, and nobody is allowed to even contact any member of my team directly (I know I was super tough), but this made him retreating and withdraw his request :) ... Who knows...he might be looking for a replacement for me now, but I feel that I did what my conscience and ethics have ordered me to do :D

WEB

Posted 2015-02-22T18:57:01.227

Reputation: 1 344

23This is not answerable here. It depends entirely on the labor and anti-discrimination laws in your jurisdiction. In the US employment is usually 'at will', meaning that you can be fired for any reason or no reason at all. There are exceptions for certain protected classes. This particular instance may be legally complex, because if your company has a history of always firing the woman in such cases it could be evidence of gender discrimination, which is one of the protected classes. To get a real answer this question you'd have to consult a lawyer.Charles E. Grant 2015-02-22T19:44:49.730

3comments removedjmac 2015-02-23T01:38:43.010

1@LinaRamiz I edited your question to make it a bit easier to follow and clearer based on your comment. If you think I screwed it up, please feel free to [edit] yourself to fix it. Great question!jmac 2015-02-23T01:48:30.303

1@LinaRamiz What country do you work in? That information could help steer some of the answers.David K 2015-02-23T12:40:58.583

20Vote to reopen. "What to do in this situation" is bread and butter to this site, as long as the situation isn't too specific, which this one isn't.DJClayworth 2015-02-23T16:08:16.760

116So, the CEO thinks he can hold onto the 'hard-working professional developer' after mistreating his fiancee?James Adam 2015-02-23T18:12:02.463

7Since the dev works for you, why are you being asked to fire the QA person? Could it be the QA manager refused to do it? You should not be firing anyone who is not a direct report even for a good reason.HLGEM 2015-02-23T20:24:12.767

4Wow, firing the woman for this would already be harsh, but terminating her, poor girl !Nicolas Barbulesco 2015-02-24T02:50:42.333

32The first step I would suggest is to ask the CEO to send the request to you in writing; rather than over the phone.Burhan Khalid 2015-02-24T05:05:23.203

1@HLGEM , i am the CTO, and both of them (the developer and the QA) are members of my teamWEB 2015-02-24T14:57:27.817

11@ALL, I have told him clearly that i am totally against Micro Management. and it is my responsibility to manage my team, and nobody is allowed to even contact any member of my team directly (i know i was super tough), but this made him retreating and withdraw his request :)WEB 2015-02-24T15:01:01.753

5@LinaRamiz So you held your ground? Good for you. If you really are the final say in this, then tell the CEO to forget about it and he can pound sand if he doesn't like it.fredsbend 2015-02-24T18:41:51.240

72+100 You officially rock for standing up for your staff! – None – 2015-02-25T00:34:08.023

1@JamesAdam "Think" is probably too strong a word.The Merry Misanthrope 2015-02-25T01:12:52.640

2pity a bounty can't be awarded to the question; your action deserve a lot of reputation points!Maxim Krizhanovsky 2015-02-25T06:51:52.880

3"The CEO phoned to ask me to terminate the woman working in QA (providing two months of salary required for legal termination) because her fiancée is a hard-working professional developer" This is such an infuriating way to put it isnt it? Like, she's not a professional QA? She's just hanging around clicking random things?grasshopper 2015-02-25T10:16:58.307

Please listen to suggestion and supplement the geographical location. Firing people for having personal relations would be illegal in most countries. – None – 2015-02-25T10:21:25.673

8You stood up to the CEO and said no in order to protect your team? Can I come work for you?! :)Brandon 2015-02-25T13:37:03.863

4@Brandon , if i can't protect and support my team, then i don't deserve to be their manager. by the way, i am proud that turnover in my team is zero since i have been assigned the CTO role :) (April 2012)WEB 2015-02-25T15:00:34.013

2@WEB Good on you for pushing back though I hope you were a bit more tactful than your update suggests. :) And just a note, but lack of turnover can be just as bad as losing too many employees, unless you inherited a team of superstars.Lilienthal 2015-02-26T11:41:48.563

1@Lilienthal, thanks for your comment, I dont think lack of turnover is bad as long as the team members are doing their tasks exactly as you plan. and whenever somebody breaks your plans, I will be supporting the TERMINATION for him/herWEB 2015-02-26T12:39:09.580

Where's Joe Strazzere!? We are looking for you.Cary Bondoc 2015-10-23T08:56:16.600

+ALLTHEPOINTS for standing up for your crew! That's how managers should behave, I think.Jan Nash 2017-03-01T18:56:18.897

@JamesAdam Comment of the day! Haha! I might file case and leave the company for abuse xD707 2017-03-02T01:12:44.503

Answers

133

It's not a universal standard that related employees should not work together, but it is a very common standard, and with good reasons behind it. Even if the couple treat each other entirely professionally, there will always be the suspicion of favouritism. But there are degrees of problem here. If neither is in a supervisory role over the other it's less of a problem. (Usually the standard includes people "in a relationship", so if the firing was going to happen it probably should have happened before.)

If you've been given a direct order, then you are in a very difficult situation. However if the company culture allows for a little pushback, I would maybe recommend some alternative approaches.

  1. Point out to the CEO that if the company arbitrarily and suddenly fires one of the couple, it is highly likely that the other one will quit too. Then you will lose both of them. The effect on the morale of the rest of the team will be nothing but bad in any case.
  2. If the company is big enough, suggest that one of the couple is moved to a different place in the organization, so they don't work together - and especially so that one doesn't report to the other. That way you keep two good workers and there is no suggestion of favouritism.
  3. If that is not possible, see if you can bring the couple into the discussion. State the problem, and see if they have an alternative way of solving it. Maybe one of them was intending to quit anyway. Maybe they were planning a baby and one was going to become a stay-at-home parent (Don't ask about that directly!!!!). Or maybe, now that they see the problem, one is prepared to go and look for another job. The situation isn't a problem immediately, just over the long term, so if it takes months to be resoled it won't hurt the company. And it is going to be much better for the company to solve this amicably, rather than dictatorially. However don't have that conversation without getting your CEO's OK first.

DJClayworth

Posted 2015-02-22T18:57:01.227

Reputation: 38 590

89+1 for "if the company arbitrarily and suddenly fires one of the couple, it is highly likely that the other one will quit too. Then you will lose both of them". If even the manager is thinking of resigning over this, then it's very, very likely the fiance would!user568458 2015-02-22T23:31:52.163

23Wow, sometimes the solution is worse than the problem! If the manager resigns over the issue, the CEO will probably ask the new manager to fire the woman employee, and by then, the hard-working developer would have probably also resigned. In effect, the company has lost three employees over a relatively trivial matter. (and who knows, how many more employees would leave due to the "Avalanche Effect").Masked Man 2015-02-23T04:04:29.367

16@Happy this is why you don't fire good people. When someone respected in your staff is fired it almost always snow balls. When someone who's underperforming, constantly tardy, disruptive, etc it's a lot less likely others will follow.RualStorge 2015-02-23T14:50:55.217

10I can't believe getting engaged/married to a co-worker is not allowed in countries. If my fiancee got fired (or moved into a different place) after our engagement, I would surely rethink about continuing in that company. Personal life shouldn't influence professional decisions.Krishnabhadra 2015-02-24T05:51:09.353

5Btw, in our places companies is happy when couples work together, because there is less chance of one of them resigning.Krishnabhadra 2015-02-24T05:55:22.903

3@Krishnabhadra: Where I work (office work, Germany) relationships between employees are not usually a problem either. It is sometimes frowned upon if one is the supervisor of the other (risk of favoritism), but even then it's usually solvead amicably, like DJClayworth describes.sleske 2015-02-24T08:38:20.737

2Yeah, #2 makes the most sense. At one point at this company, I was working on a team exactly like this: the lead developer and one of the QA people were both pretty awesome, then the QA person got suddenly moved to a different department, and I was like, why? I found out later it was because they were dating. They've now been married several years, and are both still at the company. :)neminem 2015-02-24T18:33:35.893

I would say definitely option 3 should be pursued before option 2. If anything must be done about the relationship first ask the people who will be most impacted. As you say the situation may be about to change anyway or they may be wanting a change but may be hesitant to avoid impacting the company.kkron 2015-02-27T08:55:47.980

4

@sleske: This seems to be a policy that's quite common in US companies. When Wal-Mart tried to expand to germany, they tried to implement that for their employees, got into a lawsuit, and lost. Link in german

Guntram Blohm 2015-02-27T12:18:20.787

@GuntramBlohm: Interesting. However, even that policy apparently only outlawed relationships where one partner could "influence" the other's work situation (whatever that may mean).sleske 2015-02-27T12:40:35.317

@RualStorgeit is too bad that letting an underperformer go doesn't cause others to follow. Why is life so perverse? – None – 2016-09-14T22:28:04.757

109

First of all, your unease with your CEO's request is admirable. I am of the opinion that he is acting unethically, and support your decision to resist this.

However, a person willing to fire someone over a personal matter such as this, would be very quick to turn their power elsewhere, like you.

Now, at work your first action should be to cover your butt, then the companies butt then any other butts you see fit. So how can you help the QA, while protecting yourself, and the company?

Unfortunately, you haven't stated where you work, which means we don't know the exact labour laws where you are, but I'd wager neither you or the CEO are aware of this either.

State very clearly you need the CEO to get it in writing why you want the employee fired, and ask if there are other options, such as redeployment within the company, or even just a declaration of a conflict-of-interest. Often just stating that a conflict exists, and how you will aim to work with impartiality and making this a public document is enough to make the conflict-of-interest issue disappear. Then...

Lawyer up!1

If the CEO still wants to pursue a termination, state very clearly that you think that there might be legal issues for the company. Ignore the fact that you think the CEO is acting unethically, your job isn't to be his moral compass, it's to protect the company. And firing a female employee for getting married is a good way to get sued and dragged through the media.

So just ask, have you cleared this with legal? Are they ok with this decision and have they checked the labour laws?

At the end of the day saying no to the CEO is tough, so don't say no. Stall, delay, muddy the waters with legalese. Do everything you can to make sure this is 100% above board, because it very likely isn't and being made aware of that will make the CEO look elsewhere, you'll protect the company, you'll protect your star-crossed lovers, and you might even come out looking good by looking out for the company!

[1]: By "lawyer up", I mean engage your company's legal and HR departments, stall, ask for everything in writing, in triplicate, yell "objection" whenever anyone asks you anything. Getting an actual, external lawyer is probably not a great idea.

user9158

Posted 2015-02-22T18:57:01.227

Reputation:

35Amen. You'd be begging for a discrimination lawsuit. And without the CEO's signature on it, the liability is likely to be yours.keshlam 2015-02-22T23:57:25.720

17Saying "no" is perfectly fine, and far more honorable than stalling. Going through the proper process and associated delays should not be equated to intentional stallingBen Voigt 2015-02-23T01:28:52.980

1Saying no is often difficult, especially without anything to back it up. – None – 2015-02-23T02:23:44.147

"lawyering up" is even more difficult especially if there are no resources available or the resources "belong" to the CEO. I think a lot of folks give the advice to see a lawyer but the reality of doing that is more often than not just a lot of disappointment, wasted time and money, and no resolution.teego1967 2015-02-23T03:28:01.767

I'm not sure about other countries, but, at least in the case of the U.S., I disagree about the possibility of a discrimination suit. "In a relationship with a co-worker" is not a protected class. They can't fire you for being married, but they can fire you for a potential conflict-of-interest. While I disagree that such a conflict really exists in this case, I don't see a lawsuit as likely to be successful here in the U.S., at least, but I'm not a lawyer.reirab 2015-02-23T05:01:00.013

2@reirab No, "being in a relationship" isn't a protected class. But "being a woman" is, any lawyer worth their salt could argue that she was fired for being in a woman in a relationship. – None – 2015-02-23T05:15:29.947

14Lego is right. @reirab, two employees of the company got married. The female employee was fired, because her betrothed was a "hard-working professional". The male employee was not fired, although his betrothed is also a "hard-working professional" at the same company!

That differential treatment is itself gender discrimination. If they had both been fired, it would still have been unethical, but perhaps not illegal. IANAL, but with only the woman being fired, it certainly seems illegal. – Matthew Flaschen 2015-02-23T05:18:42.520

5@MatthewFlaschen The original wording of the question (before Lego edited) made it sound like the dev was the harder working and more valuable of the employees. It is most certainly not illegal in the U.S. for a company to terminate the employee it considers less valuable if a conflict of interest arises between two employees. Lego may be right that any lawyer would argue she was terminated because she was a woman, but the original post didn't make it sound at all like that's the actual reason. Any jury worth its salt would likely see through that argument and dismiss.reirab 2015-02-23T05:23:19.420

1@reirab True, the edits did change the meaning of the question. Nevertheless, I think she would have a strong case that there was illegal gender discrimination.Matthew Flaschen 2015-02-23T05:25:33.747

1@reirab Objection!. My edits to the question were regarding grammar and spelling, the edit to remove "very professional and hard-worker" was not done by me. – None – 2015-02-23T05:25:39.573

2@LegoStormtroopr Ah, yeah, sorry, it was jmac's edit that changed that. I overlooked that when I was looking at the edit history.reirab 2015-02-23T05:27:00.903

3No harm, I just like to yell objection!. Also, whether she was terminated with good reason or not, a lot of lawyers would line up around the block to take a case where the facts are "woman has job, woman gets engaged, woman gets fired". – None – 2015-02-23T05:30:06.443

1So the CEO was willing to not to lie and say the right cause why she should be fired and your recommendation is to stab it in the back?. It is the reason why most CEOs ask tasks to their employees without giving any justification (i.e. "just do it"). BTW, Human Resources is forced to lie in several situation, for example not to hire some guy because he's an incompetent could opens the door to a sue. So, its easy to say "thanks you and we will call you back" rather to point to the real cause why he wasn't hired.magallanes 2015-02-23T12:10:31.990

5In what world is it the "right cause" to fire someone for getting engaged? If there is a conflict of interest, which is a highly dubious claim, then the couple can declare it and manage it accordingly as adults. The CEOs actions are unethical at the best and out right illegal in some jurisdictions. – None – 2015-02-23T12:17:15.270

1@LegoStormtroopr I think from the context magallanes (who is clearly not a native speaker) meant "real reason" when they said "right cause".starsplusplus 2015-02-23T15:00:16.373

@keshlam — Why a discrimination lawsuit? The person who is guilty of discrimination here is the CEO.Nicolas Barbulesco 2015-02-24T02:57:04.737

She says in one her comments that she is the CTO, I would say the power of the CEO to fire her might be smaller than you think.Dhara 2015-02-24T15:41:34.190

If the CEOs signature isn't on the order, then if you act on it you're going to have a hard time passing the buck. Even with a written order you may be found at fault; "just following orders" probably would't protect you if you should have known the order was unreasonable. If the CEO wants someone fired unreasonably, let him/her take the action and responsibility; don't become an accomplice. The risk from cooperating exceeds the risk from declining.keshlam 2015-02-24T16:37:09.273

This is forbidden by law here with an fare that can reach an value that would be close to US$ 500.000. It's considered highly unethical to fire someone because they engaged someone from inside the company.Hugo Rocha 2015-02-25T20:12:32.463

19

It certainly is not a general policy for all companies around the world. The last company I worked for, a startup with 20 employees, the CEO had his wife working as an executive assistant.

But it is a policy at some companies. I have worked for companies that had a rule that spouses could not work at all for the company, others where spouses could not work at the same location, and others where spouses could not work in the same department. But in each case, this should be a rule that is either in the company handbook or a written rule that is made clear before a person is hired. It should not be applied retroactively.

Furthermore, these two people are currently engaged, not yet married. It should not apply to them until they are actually married. I doubt if the company in question actually has a written rule prohibiting fiances from working in the same company. I have never run into that.

Note: this situation doesn't just apply to spouses, but any family members. I once worked at a company where the a father and daughter were working at the same location; she was an intern during summer break from college.

tcrosley

Posted 2015-02-22T18:57:01.227

Reputation: 506

+1 for employee handbook - although, it is the CEO's (or the board's) prerogative to update that documentHorusKol 2015-02-22T22:55:13.747

4It's also worth mentioning that (in many countries) engagement is not even an official legal status the way marriage is. I'd expect that such a "no fiances" policy would have to define what constitutes engagement.user568458 2015-02-22T23:37:41.307

3Ironically, the kind of "conflict of interest" that such policies are designed to address can occur just as easily with any significant-other or even platonic relationship.teego1967 2015-02-22T23:57:03.573

8Another +1 for reading the employee handbook. At the company I work for, there is a clearly-stated company policy that a supervisor can not be in a romantic relationship of any sort with a subordinate. The policy states that, should such a relationship arise, either one of them must quit or be transferred or the supervisor will be terminated. I suppose this is a little heavy-handed, but, at the same time, I can see the conflict-of-interest rationale for it, too. It does seem a little excessive for a QA and dev, though, unless the QA is responsible for reporting on the dev's performance.reirab 2015-02-23T04:48:31.240

1I have worked where two partners were together, and no-one was happy about it. The better option is to offer one partner a similar position in another department. Once a guy got promoted from group leader to department leader, and his wife had to change departments because otherwise he would have been her boss. This is how management should work.RedSonja 2015-02-23T12:05:56.157

Such a stupid policy would be illegal in my country, and probably in the whole European Union.Nicolas Barbulesco 2015-02-24T03:04:53.373

12

Some people are willing to just follow directions regardless of whether or not these directions are ethical or in good taste. However, since you're considering resignation as a possible reaction to this matter, I don't think it will sit well with you to just comply.

If you do fire this person, you risk damaging your conscience and that can be worse than any punishment a petty tyrant CEO can deliver.

You absolutely should tell the CEO that he is making a mistake and give him an opportunity to reconsider or perhaps work out some alternative compromise. If he persists, then you should tell him to do it himself-- and be ready to resign or be fired (or at best you'll need to start updating the resume).

teego1967

Posted 2015-02-22T18:57:01.227

Reputation: 9 802

Damaging a conscience?. Sheesh. A workplace is not a school. You should know the social rules or face to be fired. In this case, it is THE STANDARD of the business, the CEO isn't asking anything special. Sheesh!.magallanes 2015-02-23T12:22:50.620

4@magallanes, Immediate dismissal upon engagement is clearly is not any kind of "standard", it is merely a capricious decision made by a CEO for reasons rational people can only guess at. And anyway, the OP is well aware that resignation or firing is "on the table" here. Some people have enough backbone to not appease 'holes like this CEO.teego1967 2015-02-23T12:30:51.257

@magallanes — Fortunately, this CEO is not the standard, he is the exception.Nicolas Barbulesco 2015-02-24T03:08:31.900

8

The CEO makes decisions based on the information he is working with. One statement here is that the fiancé is a hard-working professional. As a programmer, chances are that he is hard-working not so much because of economic pressure but rather because of work ethics and identification with company and product.

Fire his fiancée, and it's a good bet that this will not improve his work morale. He would be well advised to look for a different employer even if he does not find employment at the same company as his fiancée.

Your job is to manage employee relations, and you look like you are willing to quit over this. Obviously, you are not left in a situation of doing your job if the CEO does decisions like that over your head.

So basically, we are talking about having three persons stop working productively for the company in order to satisfy a rule that is nowhere to be found apart from the CEO's head.

In the extreme case, it might boil down to you having to choose between doing your job and keeping your job. Not just for you, but effectively also for the programmer in question.

For better or worse, if you take your job seriously, it would be better to make the CEO aware of the scope his decision means for the personnel: it clearly does not stop at the woman he wants to see fired.

I am not saying this is going to work out well. But I don't see that sticking your head in the sand is going to work out well for you either. I'd start by trying to schedule a one-on-one talk with the CEO so that there is no "loss of face" involved for any change in course.

Good luck!

user32815

Posted 2015-02-22T18:57:01.227

Reputation: 81

6

I know of companies where couples or close relatives are not allowed to work together with good reasons (for example at a bank, where there is lots of money to be stolen and two people working together can get around security much easier than one. Still no restriction against couples working for the same employer). In the case of a software developer and a QA, seriously what does the CEO expect? That she doesn't report bugs that her husband is responsible for? That's plain stupid. Obviously not something you should tell the CEO to his face, but it is.

As always the advice: Don't quit about this. If you want to quit about it, find a new job first, then quit. Don't use quitting as a threat. That CEO is stupid and doesn't care for any employees as he has demonstrated, so he won't care about you.

The best you can do is to tell him that this dick move (don't use the word dick when you tell him) will be very bad for the morale of all employees, and that you will most likely lose the other half of the couple as well soon.

You could suggest that instead of firing the fiancee you could ask her to find a new job, with a generous amount of time for that. It's still stupid, but the consequences for the company will be much less bad.

You could suggest that instead of you firing that person, which you totally disagree with, the CEO should personally come down and do the evil deed, face to face. There's a chance that he wimps out. There's a chance that it costs you your job. If you were willing to quit over it...

gnasher729

Posted 2015-02-22T18:57:01.227

Reputation: 55 899

3

I would suggest arranging a meeting between everyone involved -- the CEO, the developer, the QA person and yourself -- with the goal of resolving the situation without anyone leaving.

First off, this isn't a universal custom. Although there are legitmate concerns in some cases, I wouldn't want my internal auditor to be married to the accountant for instance, this particular case doesn't seem to raise a conflict of interest to me.

Secondly, if this is an official policy, and you aren't firing them both, you need to be careful of descrimination lawsuits.

Finally, I'm not sure it's a good idea to give the CEO an ultimatum in this meeting, but if the meeting doesn't come to a successful conclusion, I think you should let the couple know your plans -- whether that is to simply let the CEO do his own dirty work, or to quit if he fires one or both of them. Letting them know that someone at the company cares is perhaps the last thing you can do to for both them and the company.

Whatever you do, and however it comes out, good luck.

jmoreno

Posted 2015-02-22T18:57:01.227

Reputation: 7 477

-1

Depending on where you live I would check the legality of this. This might be discrimination according to the Civil rights act.

see http://topics.hrhero.com/title-vii-of-the-civil-rights-act-of-1964/# and http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/qanda.html

which seems to indicate it also covers peoples marital status

Daveo

Posted 2015-02-22T18:57:01.227

Reputation: 175

5On the other hand, don't automatically assume that this falls under the category of "marital status". There is big difference between "married or not" vs "married to another employee". Professional legal advice would be in order before taking such an action (OP, who is not taking the action, has much less to be concerned about in that direction)Ben Voigt 2015-02-23T01:25:46.983

2I agree with Ben, they are not protected this way.Loren Pechtel 2015-02-23T01:47:34.617

1I also agree that this is not protected by the CRA. The CRA says you can't be terminated due to whether or not you're married. It doesn't say you can't be terminated for a potential conflict of interest (though I would question whether a QA and a dev is really a serious conflict of interest... a supervisor and a subordinate is another matter, though.)reirab 2015-02-23T04:54:15.070

@BenVoigt: It doesn't matter what happens to other women. What matters is what happens to that woman. If she wasn't married, she wouldn't be fired. It doesn't matter that it depends on the person she married, fact is that the CEO wants to fire her because she is getting married and wouldn't want to fire her if she didn't get married.gnasher729 2015-02-24T14:45:25.210

-3

Do it

Several people already mentioned that it is common to have official or unofficial guidelines against colleagues becoming partners. And in general this is for good reasons, regardless of how applicable the reasons are to this specific situation.

If no action is taken now, later a couple might form that would be very problematic and should be stopped. But of course they cannot be stopped because that would easily be viewed as unfair and discriminating, given that this couple was allowed to go on.

So, considering that there may be some (yet unexposed) reasons for stopping this workplace relatinoship, and that it seems to be only consistent with how other colleagues will be treated, it may actually be the right thing to do.


But do it properly

That being said, letting this person go is a bit different than letting someone else go, as you don't want to upset the partner too much. As such I would try to part in a decent way and try to show that you wish her the best. Perhaps a bit more money, a bit more time or a glowing recommendation when she applies somewhere else can soothe the pain.

Dennis

Posted 2015-02-22T18:57:01.227

Reputation: 15

3"later a couple might form that would be very problematic" - then they should be dealt with for being problematic, not for being a couple. The problem would be the problematic behaviour, not the fact they are a couple.user568458 2015-02-24T11:45:03.010

5It absolutely is NOT a given that a couple will be problematic. One doesn't have to dismiss anyone without first evaluating the situation for real conflicts of interest, not what might happen someday. It is totally natural that in workplaces where people spend a lot of their time that couples will form. Dealing with these relationships by firing is a ham-fisted approach that harms everyone involved.teego1967 2015-02-24T12:59:19.263

2This is a bad way to do business. I would argue that my significant other and I were more productive than our peers. We worked together in the same department for years (we were dating for years before we worked together). I don't think it's that shocking that you can be more productive working with someone you really get along with.MiniRagnarok 2015-02-24T19:02:52.827

This advice is craven, immoral and rightly illegal in many places.mikeagg 2015-11-16T13:19:16.207