Can your employer ask you who you’re dating? 

On Behalf of | Mar 17, 2021 | Workplace Discrimination |

You’re a private person, and you prefer to keep your private life away from the workplace — but your boss asks a lot of questions. Some of those questions are specifically about your romantic life. What can you do?

Your personal life should stay personal. It has no bearing on the job you do. If your employer asks you about your dating life, you can politely decline to say anything. You’re not obligated to tell them anything that makes you uncomfortable, even if your boss swears the question is innocent and that they just want to know you a bit better as an employee. 

Why do you have the right to decline to answer these kinds of questions?

There are a few things to consider here, starting with the fact that these questions may be sexual harassment. Is your boss really trying to imply that the two of you should date? Is this their way of showing you that they’re interested? If you tell them that you’d rather not discuss it and they keep asking, that’s harassment. 

Discrimination could also be an issue. This is why employers can’t ask you about your marital status. Maybe your boss only wants to hire single people who are not in any sort of relationship. That’s illegal, and they can’t use your personal life to decide if they should fire you or not. 

Your boss could also be crossing some lines regarding your sexual orientation. Maybe your boss is straight and suspects you are in a same-sex relationship. This is their way of trying to find out. Again, harassing you over this or discriminating against you based on sexual orientation is illegal. 

Your options if you’re facing sexual harassment or discrimination at work?

It’s best to keep personal details out of the workplace, but what if your boss doesn’t respect that? You need to know what options you have when facing harassment and discrimination