TV Co-Hosts' Involvement Raises Workplace Romance Questions

Kathy Gurchiek By Kathy Gurchiek December 8, 2022

​The rumored romantic involvement of Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes, co-hosts of ABC's midday news hour, "GMA3: What You Need to Know," is thrusting workplace romance back into the spotlight.

Robach and Holmes were suspended from on-air duties Dec. 5. Although they are separated from their spouses and ABC News boss Kim Godwin told The Philadelphia Inquirer their alleged affair did not violate company policy, the resulting headlines, she said, have created an "internal and external distraction."

It's not the first time high-profile individuals have been disciplined for having intimate relationships with a colleague. CNN President Jeff Zucker was forced to resign in February after it was discovered he had violated company rules by not disclosing a workplace relationship with Executive Vice President Allison Gollust. 

[SHRM members-only resource: Employee Dating Policy

On-the-job romance is on the rise, HR Magazine reported. In fact, one-third (33 percent) of 550 U.S. workers the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) surveyed in January said they're currently, or previously have been, romantically involved with someone at work. And it's a headache for HR specialists, who say navigating this employer issue is among their toughest assignments.

SHRM Online collected the following news stories and resources about workplace romance. 

ABC News Pulls Daytime Co-Anchors After Revelations of a Romance 

Godwin did not say how long the hosts would be off the air or whether they would return to the program, which is an offshoot of the network's "Good Morning America" franchise. She also did not say whether they would lose pay.
(The New York Times

SHRM Survey: The Rise of Workplace Romance

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a rise in workplace romances that has remained steady over the past year, according to a SHRM survey released in February. It also found that 77 percent of U.S. workers say their employer doesn't require them to disclose a workplace romance, and a majority of workers (77 percent) who have been in a workplace romance have not disclosed their relationship to their employer.
(SHRM press release

How to Manage Workplace Relationships

Office romances carry all the potential risks and rewards of typical relationships, but with an added layer of risk. In addition to creating an atmosphere often rife with gossip and rumors, which disrupt a professional culture, office romances can sometimes lead to serious conflicts. While these conflicts stem from a personal relationship, they can impact business operations as well, putting office romances squarely in the scope of management's purview.
(Business News Daily

Consensual Relationship Agreement
(SHRM members-only resource: HR Forms)

Romance in the Workplace: Should You be Concerned and What Action Do You Need to Take?

Even without a written policy, employers must deal with workplace problems triggered by a romantic relationship.  
(Dvorak Law Group)



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