Mauldin updates employee dating policy

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MAULDIN, S.C. (WSPA)–A new employee policy in Mauldin is now on the books. And it’s all about dating in the workplace.

The mayor says the addition of an employee dating policy is normal practice as far as he’s concerned. Legal experts say something like this is smart, specially given recent scandal.

Mayor Terry Merritt said the recent addition of an employee dating policy has nothing to do with a scandal in the city last summer.

“The policy came out of our hr department,” Merritt said.

He said instead, it’s a standard evolution of the employee manual.

“We didn’t see this as being anything out of the ordinary other than being an update to the policy,” Merritt said.

Some may remember the investigation that came after several police officers and dispatchers were found to be engaged in relationships.

“If I was representing them I would say this should have been done yesterday,” attorney John Reckenbeil said.

Reckenbeil said even if the policy wasn’t a direct response to the scandal, it is a legally smart reaction.

“This policy is very specific and it triggers certain protections for employees but it also is something that completely insulates the city,’ Reckenbeil said.

He said if another incident happened and the city had not taken action they’d be leaving the door open for legal trouble.

“The major thing they are doing here is protecting themselves from legal liability because they are on notice that employee were literally having sex on the clock,” Reckenbeil said.

“Did some things occur that somewhat relates to this particular thing, yes,” Merritt said.

Merritt said updating the policy is a normal course of action throughout the year.

“Is it directly related? No, it was never presented that way, no one the hr director the finance policy never said we’re doing this because of anything,” Merritt said.

Merritt also said before the recent update, the employee manual was under revision in August of 2019–directly after the scandal came to light.

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