Employment Lawyer Offers Love Contract Tips to Reduce Office Romance Risks, Provides Form
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, an employment lawyer is offering tips on how to draft a love contract to help reduce the risks of workplace romance.
While few would suggest that pursuing a relationship with a fellow employee or, worse, a subordinate, is a smart career move (dating a supervisor, of course, offers its own potential perils), surveys show such behavior is nonetheless fairly commonplace. So for those who opt to indulge despite social disapprobation, workplace policies that discourage or even forbid such relationships and the risk of job loss and litigation, Forbes relays some helpful advice.
Partner Alan Lesnewich of Fisher & Phillips offers not only love contract drafting tips for those who are pursuing a serious workplace involvement but some basic form language that is reproduced in Forbes.
It is important that both parties participate and that the document makes clear the relationship is consensual and in accord with company policies, Lesnewich tells the business magazine. While it may be helpful in avoiding litigation, a love contract is no guarantee that the parties and/or their employer won’t be seeing each other in court if the romance goes sour, he notes.
Policies against workplace romance can be a double-edged sword, since they can provide a basis for litigation if violated or not enforced, the article points out, relying on advice from other experts.
However, an employer is likely to have some rules that apply, whether formal or informal, and “the advantage of a love contract is that you have a document to point to in addition to your normal policy,” according to Lesnewich. “It’s like a second line of defense.”
ABAJournal.com: “‘Love Contract’ Can Legalize Office Romance”
The Careerist: “Seduction in the Office”