Dealing with Romance in the Workplace
This Valentine's Day, will some of your employees be celebrating the fact that they've found romance at the office? Love may be a wonderful thing, but in the workplace, it can put your company at risk. Employers should take proactive steps to insulate their companies from the liability that can arise from such relationships:
- Update the company's harassment
- Consider implementing a policy that discourages dating between co-workers and forbids it among supervisors and subordinates
- Require employees who are dating to disclose it to a company official
- Use "love contracts" that document in writing the disclosures and acknowledgments from employees involved in a workplace romance.
When Cupid's arrow strikes in the workplace, love contracts, coupled with meaningful enforcement of well-written sexual harassment and non-retaliation policies, are an employer's best shield.
This article appeared in the February 2009 issue of Kansas City Small Business Monthly.