Some companies have rules against office dating, but most do not. Employees are allowed to engage in romantic relationships if they would like to do so, as long as both people consent to the relationship.
However, if someone asks another employee out on a date, and that employee says no, they need to drop it. If they refuse to do so, it can become sexual harassment. They may claim that they never touched the person or did anything inappropriate, but repeatedly pestering someone to start a romantic relationship that they do not want is still a form of harassment.
Considering the role of power
You also want to think about the power you have in the workplace and the power that the other person has, and it can be problematic if there is a discrepancy between the two.
For instance, if one person is a supervisor and asks out an employee who works under them, that employee may feel obligated or pressured to say yes. They may think that they’re going to be fired if they don’t agree to the relationship or get a bad reputation within the workplace and be passed over for promotions.
This dynamic is problematic. The supervisor in that scenario may not realize the hostile situation that they’re creating, but they can be accused of harassment or abuse of their position of power. This is just one reason why many workplaces say that supervisors are not allowed to date employees, even if both people claim to want to be in the relationship.
If you have been sexually harassed in any way on the job, you have rights, and you need to know what legal steps you can take.