Members of a firm’s management committee may lack the time to deal with sticky personnel issues because they’re busy with their law practices, he said.Surreptitious Relationships Even if a firm has a policy governing office dating, “it’s also a difficult thing to create and enforce in law firms,” Brandt said.

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“Every one of these situations needs to be looked at on an independent basis,” he said. Ensuring Fair Treatment Nevertheless, Hartstein identified some basic parameters.

If repercussions are too strict, the firm “could lose a very good lawyer,” he said. “Full disclosure in any of these situations is critical,” he said.

Hartstein, a co-chair of Littler’s EEO and diversity practice group.

“We spend more time at work than anywhere else” during our waking hours, Hartstein told Bloomberg Law Jan. Hartstein identified a few workplace trends that could fuel fraternization.

“The issue with law firms is that, unlike a company, law firms are partnerships, so it’s less clear who the boss is,” Debbie Epstein Henry, the founder of DEH Consulting, told Bloomberg Law Jan. “In a law firm structure, the equity partners share the control and power,” so there is “opportunity for abuse of power.” “Every partner is an owner,” Andrew Horowitz, an associate at Obermayer who handles sexual harassment and discrimination claims, told Bloomberg Law Jan. “It’s very hard to tell them what to do.” The governing structure of law firms also isn’t conducive to policing workplace dating.