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Love Hurts at the Workplace


Managers and supervisors should not look the other way when if comes to office romance. Affairs between supervisors and subordinates may not only be disruptive and interfere with work and productivity, but they may also lead to accusations of sexual harassment.

As an alternative to a non-fraternization policy, some companies use "love contracts" in the workplace. These documents are signed by both parties and typically review the company's workplace harassment policy, while establishing ground rules. However, in 2008 Business Week identified love contracts as one of the ten worst corporate practices.

You should implement an appropriate "non-fraternization" policy, and don't hesitate to discipline supervisors who have affairs with individuals under their control. Administer the policy consistently, just as you would administer all your policies. A non-fraternization policy may not be the employer's most popular policy, but it is ultimately less intrusive than a 'love contract," which should be used only in very limited circumstances.

This article appeared in the September 2008 issue of South Carolina Business.


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