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“Co-workers and bosses do not react favorably to relationships between married people,” Heathfield says.You should also think twice about pursuing a relationship with someone in the same department.Just remember, it should be based on more than that—if it lasts, you’ll have to tell people about it eventually.

It might make things more exciting to have a forbidden, secret relationship at work.

I guess more specifically, it is very obvious that a coworker of mine is having an affair with another married coworker, and I'm wondering if she will be in trouble if they get caught, or if their only punishment is the stigma that they already face because everyone knows (but apparently they don't know this)?

When it happens at work, you have a big decision to make. You’ll get to grab lunch together, maybe carpool to work together and take advantage of those extra moments that you would miss out on if you and your partner worked in separate offices.

If your company handbook doesn’t require a trip to human resources, it’s your call on how to proceed.

“As long as the relationship does not fall into a prohibited liaison and is not creating a disruption to the work, there is no reason for HR to be involved,” says Valerie Keels, a member of the Special Expertise panel of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).

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