Bosses in California who sleep with their employees could be sued for harassment by workers with whom they are not involved after a ruling by the state's Supreme Court.
The decision means that sexual harassment in California now encompasses people who have no sexual interaction whatsoever and could lead to employers trying to put monitor or halt all office romances.
California's chief justice, Ronald George, said that what was at stake was not so much sex as the creation of a workplace atmosphere demeaning to women "because a message is conveyed that managers view women as 'sexual playthings'."
The state's attorney general's office said that the ruling was a clear message to employers: " It tells employers that having an anti-nepotism policy is not enough. You need to do more to make sure that you have a hostility-free work environment even when employees are having consensual sexual relationships."