If you’ve watched "The Office," you know how workplace romance can complicate things. Who amongst us hasn’t seen that same old story in our own office: a guy is engaged to a coworker, while a temp/former corporate executive dates his cube neighbor/ex-girlfriend, and then another guy is engaged to another girl, but she also makes out with the annoying guy in the office who owns a beet farm and has a cousin named Mose who runs without using his arms. It’s almost trite.
But what are the legal ramifications and what can employers do about it? Apparently, love contracts are now an option. Inside INdiana Business has the scoop:
A partner at Bose McKinney & Evans is recommending companies consider "love contracts" to protect their businesses and employees from the troubles that can come out of an office romance. Dave Swider says often employers don’t feel comfortable governing employee relationships, so these documents set the parameters for workplace romance. Employees who have or are about to enter a relationship would sign documents acknowledging it is consensual, along with ground rules for office behavior and sexual harassment policies. Swider says the contracts also protect employers by stating they will not retaliate nor discriminate if the relationship goes south.
And if you’re an HR specialist, or just someone who’s so attractive that you can’t keep coworkers from hitting on you, you might find useful related information in the Indiana Chamber’s Indiana Guide to Preventing Workplace Harassment, authored by attorneys at Ogletree Deakins. We also have a Harassment Kit available, as well. I guarantee you’ll love this information — but not too much or you’ll have to sign a contract.