Consensual Relationships Policy

Effective Date

June 12, 2017

Last Revision Date

June 2023 

Responsible Party

Human Resources


This policy applies to Consensual Relationships between University employees and between an employee and student.


To prohibit an employee from exercising authority, professional influence, or acting in a supervisory capacity over another employee and/or a student with whom one has a Consensual Relationship and to provide the process for reporting and disclosing such relationships to Human Resources.

Policy Statement

Marymount University’s (“University”) policy and its commitment to a climate free from sexual and other forms of unlawful harassment is that it is both unwise and inappropriate for University managerial personnel to have romantic relationships with any subordinate University employee or a student with whom the employee is in a direct/power relationship.

Maintaining professional relationships and mutual respect and trust between a supervisor and subordinate, and in all relationships involving authority or influence over another, is key to this success. Therefore, a University employee may not exercise any supervisory, advisory, evaluative authority, or professional influence over an employee and/or student with whom the employee has a Consensual Relationship. In cases where a Consensual Relationship does not violate the provisions under this policy, the parties should be sensitive to the possibility that they may later be placed in a position of responsibility requiring evaluation, supervision, or influence over another employee.

1.0  Definitions

1.1 Consensual Relationship

A current or former mutually-acceptable relationship in which the involved parties understand or understood such relationship to be romantic, intimate, and/or sexual in nature, whether short-term or long-term.

2.0  Prohibited Consensual Relationships and Required Reporting/Disclosure Between Employees

  1. An employee is prohibited from exercising supervisory responsibilities, employment actions, evaluation, promotion, or the direct setting of salary or wages over another employee with whom the employee has or is currently involved in a Consensual Relationship.
  2. An employee who enters into a Consensual Relationship with another employee over whom the employee has authority, professional influence, or actual or perceived power is required to immediately disclose the relationship to their supervisor and Human Resources. A supervisor aware of such a relationship must immediately report the relationship to Human Resources. 
  3. The supervisor, in consultation with Human Resources, will take prompt and appropriate action to minimize or eliminate the authority, professional influence, or actual or perceived power. If a sponsored project is involved, disclosure to the sponsor may be required and such disclosure will be made in accordance with procedures developed by the Office of Sponsored Projects.

3.0  Prohibited Consensual Relationships Between an Employee and a Student

The University prohibits consensual relationships of a dating, intimate and/or sexual nature between faculty or staff and any student with whom the faculty or staff member is in a direct/power relationship.  Furthermore, the University strongly discourages these consensual relationships even when no power relationship exists.

4.0  Discretionary Action by the University

Reports and disclosures of Consensual Relationships between employees will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis considering such factors as the relevant circumstances; the nature of the relationship; the employee’s duties; and the management, supervisory, or professional relationship between the employees. Examples of remediation may include alternative supervision, recusal of the employee from matters involving professional influence over the other employee(s), changes in an employee’s duties, or reassignment.

4.0  Protection Offered to Parties who Disclose

  1. A report or disclosure of a Consensual Relationship will be treated as highly sensitive information and special attention will be given to maintaining the privacy of all involved parties. Information will be shared only on a need-to-know basis or as otherwise required by law or conditions imposed by a sponsor.
  2. It is a violation of this policy to retaliate against any individual who seeks advice or action under this policy or makes a good-faith report or disclosure under this policy.

5.0  Non-Consensual Relationships

A Consensual Relationship that becomes non-consensual or unwelcome by one party in the relationship could implicate a policy violation under University Policy Non-discrimination and Anti-harassment and/or University Policy Sexual Harassment and Interpersonal Misconduct. Complaints of sexual harassment, protected class discrimination, or workplace violence (e.g., behavior that is violent, threatening, harassing, etc.) should be filed through one of the following:

  • Title IX Coordinator; 
  • Campus Safety; or
  • Human Resources