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Talkback: Have you ever been involved with a coworker, or a boss?
If so, what effect (if any) did it have on your job, or your career?
The employers may fear: Can an Employer Prohibit Employees from Dating One Another?
Is it legal to fully prohibit employees from dating one another?
Or does that overstep boundaries and put too much restriction on an employee’s personal life?
Should we date our co-workers or allow our employees to date each other? OVERVIEW [top] Changes in the workplace have made romances between co-workers inevitable.
Employees are working longer hours and have less time to socialize outside of work.
In practical terms, it can be incredibly difficult to enforce, too.
Short of banning all workplace dating, here are some other options that many employers choose: If an employer opts to implement any such dating policy, it’s important to enforce it fairly and consistently—not in a way that discriminates. Be sure to check your local and state laws and consult legal counsel when necessary.
(I know, that probably strikes you as wildly unlikely, but it’s been known to happen.) MORE: The age of the ‘recycled CEO’ Asking you to confirm in writing that the relationship is voluntary gives the company a defense later on if you try to sue on the grounds that you were coerced or intimidated into accepting your boyfriend’s amorous advances.
“But a ‘cupid contract’ is partly for your own protection as well,” notes Merry Campbell, co-chair of the employment law practice at Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker in Washington, D. “The agreement should indicate to you that, if the romance ends badly, it won’t affect your position at work, and you have the right to bring any repercussions — for example, retaliation on your boyfriend’s part — to management’s attention.” All this talk of contracts and lawsuits might come as a shock to anyone too young to remember a rash of high-profile sexual harassment suits in the ‘90s — not to mention a few more recent ones, like the 2011 case where a jury awarded .6 million to a Kansas City employee of UBS Financial Services whose supervisor had harassed her.
Companies that require coworkers who are dating to sign “cupid contracts” are not just being nosy.