Human Resources - Policy on Consensual Relationships between Employees of the Connecticut State University System
The University’s educational mission is founded on an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect between all members of the academic community. Faculty members, as well as those individuals upon whom the University confers managerial, supervisory, or evaluative responsibilities, carry a special responsibility to adhere to the highest ethical and professional standards and to avoid any actions that may appear to undermine this atmosphere of trust and respect and thereby hinder the University’s educational mission.
Because of the inherent imbalance of power and need for trust, faculty members, supervisory staff, and those with evaluative authority should be aware that dating or sexual relationships that might be appropriate in other circumstances have inherent dangers when they occur between a supervisor and employee. Such relationships are susceptible to an appearance of exploitation and can impair the trust and integrity of the employment relationship. In addition, although these relationships may begin and remain consensual, they may easily be later characterized as non-consensual and could potentially lead to sexual harassment charges.
Connecticut State University strongly discourages romantic, dating or sexual relationships between employees with supervisory or evaluative authority and the employees that they supervise or evaluate. If a romantic or sexual relationship exists or develops between such individuals, the employee with supervisory or evaluative authority is required to recuse his or herself from participating in any supervisory or evaluative decisions regarding said employee. If that is not practical, then the employee with supervisory or evaluative authority is required to consult with the first appropriate manager in the chain of command who is not in any bargaining unit. The manager shall make arrangements for the unbiased supervision and evaluation of the employee. A case-by-case review shall be made by the manager and, in some circumstances, an employee may be transferred or reassigned.