Title VII, romance in workplace discussed
Allen Hutson of Crowe & Dunlevy discusses romantic relationships in the workplace.
To curb these risks, some employers place an absolute prohibition on relationships between supervisors and employees, or at the very least prohibit relationships between supervisors and the employees they directly supervise. Those employers who don't implement a complete ban may require the supervisor and employee to sign a “love contract,” which essentially states that the relationship is consensual, confirms the employees are aware of the employer's sexual harassment prevention and discrimination policy, that the supervisor will not play favorites and, if something happens in the relationship that is unwanted, the employees will use the employer's complaint procedure.
Q: What policies can employers implement regarding workplace relationships?
A: Aside from the aforementioned “love contracts,” an employer first and foremost should have in place a well-written sexual harassment prevention policy. Employers also must ensure all employees are aware of their rights and their responsibilities under the policy. A sexual harassment prevention policy is typically an employers' first, and in most cases, most important, line of defense against a sexual harassment claim.
PAULA BURKES, BUSINESS WRITER
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