While some legal experts say touching co-workers is almost never appropriate, others claim it's simply a natural way to express empathy. Guidelines vary from job to job, experts note, since some offices have a culture that lends itself to high fives, while others have a stuffier, stay-out-of-my-space vibe. Wall Street Journal columnist Elizabeth Bernstein suggests there are at least three kinds of people it's never OK to manhandle in the workplace: "cute interns, pregnant women and your boss."

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