Can I reveal my amorous feelings to someone on my staff?

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I’m in love with someone on my staff. I haven’t said anything or acted on it, but I think there’s a connection we both avoid acknowledging. Given the sensitivities at work, is it possible to be the boss and declare my feelings for someone on my staff without risk?

They don’t call me Go To Greg for nothin’. Employees come to me for all kinds of advice, including matters of the heart — it’s just more complicated when the heart and work are comingled. The short answer to your question is no, it’s not possible to be the boss and declare your love for your employee without risk, even if it is done in the most romantic comedy way. That said, one can’t control when or where Cupid strikes. You can wait for one of you to move on to a new gig, or you can go big, my friend — declare yourself and say that if you got this all wrong, you will resign! If the feelings are mutual, one of you will have to leave or transfer anyway. I’m a romantic at heart. Unless you’re a lecherous loser and if your intentions are pure, then I say go for it instead of suffering in silence. Job, or soul mate?

I’ve been working remotely for 18 months and now my employer says I must return to the office. I have serious anxiety about going back. Can I claim that my anxiety prevents me from returning to the office?

There are millions of people who feel just as you do. Many employers recognize this and are making adjustments to schedules permanently, seeing flexibility as an opportunity to attract and retain a wider pool of talent. Unfortunately, not every employer is open to that. Whether or not your anxiety is a claim that they have to consider is a matter for your doctor. If your doctor certifies that your anxiety qualifies as a disability, you could ask your employer for an accommodation. Your employer doesn’t have to accept the diagnosis or make an accommodation if they feel it will create an undue hardship. That’s where it gets messy and usually plays out with lawyers. First, try working it out with your employer. See a professional for your anxiety, and if you can’t return, present that to your employer and see what they say.

Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as a chief human resources executive and is dedicated to helping New Yorkers get back to work. E-mail your questions to [email protected] Follow Greg on Twitter: @greggiangrande and at GoToGreg.com

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