Valentine’s Day offers an annual reminder to every employer that Cupid’s arrow can strike at the workplace. According to certain studies, 25 to 50 percent of employees have been a part of a workplace romance. This might not be surprising given the amount of time employees spend with each other, in many cases over the course of several years, and the bonds that can form among and between coworkers who share common interests and experiences, whether professional or personal in nature.

So what can employers do to manage romantic and personal relationships when “love is in the air” at the workplace?

Employers may consider implementing a personal relationship policy to address the subject of workplace romances. Even if not required by law, having a written policy in place can be viewed as a best practice. A policy that clearly and effectively provides employees with guidance as to what is permitted and what is prohibited with respect to workplace romances, as well as the consequences for violations of the policy, can be beneficial to management and nonmanagement employees alike.

Continue Reading Cupid’s arrow strikes at work: Managing romantic and personal relationships in the workplace

As we prepare to celebrate our national day of love and embrace the spirit of St. Valentine that is descending everywhere, employment lawyers have one thing on their minds – Managing Workplace Romances! From out and out prohibition, to managers who look the other way when there’s an occasional “cuddle-n-kiss” in the supply closet, the risk of liability for relationships at work is a real threat. Despite company tactics to thwart liability, romance at work is not fading, but it is ever-present and growing stronger. Companies need a practical approach to dealing with modern views toward inter-office relationships, and the fallout from them that can ensue. Whether the question is “want to get a drink after work” or a more modern crude expression, we recommend the following step-by-step approach from the initial ask and response:
Continue Reading Love at Work: Romance Through Contract