For the first part of this I'm assuming they are relatively close in age and adults. The first question does your agency have any rules about this? I know some agencies have a nepotism clause that can be as wide as those engaged in just romantic relationships besides being married or registered domestic partners. If there is some sort of policy on the books then you should probably start there. Beyond that you need to kind of stay away from what people do outside of work as long as there is no impact on meeting the standards of the job they are hired for. If the manager is showing favoritism towards their new found love at work, then deal with just like a manager who showed favoritism to their buddy they go out for beers with on the weekend. We can only "handle" job related issues and they have to be uniformly applied standards. Even if this manager was a phenomenal manager before they started dating said lifeguard, as long as they are not slipping below the same standard another manager would be held to there is not a whole lot to do. Also if you don't write down and keep records of any performance issues and review them with the manager, then they for all practical purposes (court proceedings, arbitration, mediation, unemployment hearings, etc.) they didn't happen.
I posted a blog post about my thoughts about this if there is a large age gap and the younger one is "of age" but not by much. I don't know if this would necessarily fall into what I am talking about below (but it may)
Good luck with it, again you really can only work off of job related issues and go from there to be safe.
-Please remember, I am a pool guy not a lawyer, consult your legal counsel for legal questions.
Joe raises some very good points. If there is no policy against it and they are both appropriately aged then it's really a non-issue as long as both parties are being professional at work. The basic truth is that you can't really stop it from happening, these teenagers and young adults spend long hours around each other day in and day out and sometimes they "take a shine' to one another. The best thing you can do is ensure that there is no favoritism or misuse of authority issues happening, and ensure that they are always conducting themselves in a professional manner when on-duty or at the facility.
I met this girl at an Aquatic School (I was teaching at), started talking, visiting each other (I worked at a school in another state). The school she went to she was a Head Lifeguard. During the time we were dating the school wanted to create an Aquatic Dir position. I helped them figure out the details of this position and I also helped do in services while I was visiting.
Next thing I know it they offered me the position. They moved her to another part of campus rec, 6 months later we were engaged and 5 months later married. Now 12 years later and 4 kids life is great!! I need to add another child to my photo.
I've never hired another lifeguards boy/girl friend to be on staff -- way to messy. Am I a hypocrite?
Possibly, but my story is kind of similar to yours Mark. I was in a smaller town community pool and started dating a co-worker when we were both Seniors in High School. At the time neither one of us were really supervisors but over the course of our first two years of college we both became supervisors (head guard like positions). We worked opposite shifts and definitely had different ways to do things but both accomplished the same goals (she didn't think my way was good at times!). Eventually we became engaged and married (my wife kind of phased out around this time, she had other jobs but still filled in and helped with morning programs where I was the afternoon and evening guy). Heck there was even a point where we were both running different lesson programs (her in the AM and me in the PM) and my mother was a teacher under us both (Small town)!
Would I actively seek out couples to work together, no. I have seem many messy situations. If this happens (we used to call it swimcest on the competitive side when it was teammates dating). I go back to what I posted before, if there is no policy on it I treat them just like others with clear performance expectations. AND DOCUMENTATION OF ISSUES.
I don't think that makes you a hypocrite Mark. I wouldn't necessarily exclude a Guard candidate simply because they were dating a current staff member but it certainly wouldn't count towards them either. There is a big difference between someone coming on staff already in a relationship with a current staff member and two staff members who start dating while on the job. I have found that most of the time someone who wants to work somewhere because their sweetie does too is there for the wrong reason...