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Romance between manager and subordinate can cause problems at work.

Johnny C. Taylor Jr., a human resources expert, is tackling your questions as part of a series for USA TODAY. Taylor is president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, the world’s largest HR professional society.

The questions are submitted by readers, and Taylor’s answers below have been edited for length and clarity.

Have a question? Do you have an HR or work-related question you’d like me to answer? Submit it here.

Question: Eight months ago, it was brought to HR’s attention that a member of the management team might be having an affair with a newly hired, younger subordinate. The office is seeing this employee enjoy favoritism while those who have spoken up about the potential affair face retaliation – including being spied on with an office camera. Our branch manager has tried to act but always backs down because of intimidation from the member of management in question. This is a frustrating and toxic situation for my company and it’s causing a lot of stress and unhappiness for everyone. HR continually tells us that things will change, but nothing has happened. Any idea why they are not addressing this situation?

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