Q&A: How to treat the love bug


I've recently discovered that two of my employees are dating. How do I address the situation?

Every veterinary practice owner should be prepared to deal with dating in the workplace, says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Jeff Rothstein, MBA. Most veterinary hospitals employ a relatively small number of team members, so you can imagine how a bickering or overly amorous couple could make the entire staff uncomfortable. Therefore, you should prohibit or set guidelines for employee relationships in your hospital policy manual—and make all team members aware of these guidelines.

If you haven’t done this and you’ve discovered that team members are already dating, inform them both that their relationship is inappropriate and that if it causes any workplace disruptions, they’ll both be terminated. You might feel awkward talking to the couple about the issue, but other team members might feel just as awkward working with the pair. Alternately, one of the employees could find work elsewhere, eliminating the problem.

While many hospitals have a “no dating” policy among team members, it’s tough to prevent relationships from developing. If the couple is discreet about their relationship, it doesn’t have to become an issue. But if they’re not, be prepared to take more drastic measures.

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