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Hugging in the Workplace

Nearly every magazine from Forbes to Inc. has examined hugging in the workplace. It’s highly controversial with no universal opinions. Plenty of do’s and don’ts, and dozens of online legal opinions exist about who, what, when, where, and how long to hug or not hug.

In 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit stated that hugging can contribute to a hostile workplace if it is unwelcome and pervasive. Although it’s not a prohibited behavior, it appears that you probably should avoid a reputation for expressing affection in this way—and most experts agree that you should avoid hugging those you supervise.

If you are the hugging type, be aware that some people do not like to be touched. And if your organization has rules or policies regarding hugging (some, like many educational schools, do), follow them. 

Keith Stein | 3/29/2018

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