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Total Articles: 20

Obama or Clinton? Avoiding the Potential Disasters of Office Romance

An office romance 25 years ago worked out well for President Barack Obama (who met his wife, Michelle, while they were both working at a Chicago law firm) President Bill Clinton’s history of workplace relationships was a different story. When workplace relationships don’t work out, it isn’t only the unhappy couple that ends up suffering the consequences. Employers often must manage a welter of negative workplace effects from employee romances—sometimes even when the relationships are successful. So what should an employer do to avoid the potential fallout from office relationships and how can companies avoid Valentine’s Day disasters?

Love Is In The Air...

Nora Roberts said “Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice.” Love and the workplace, however, well, that is a different ball game.

A Valentine’s Day Reminder for Employers

Valentine’s Day, February 14th, brings out the fun and flirty side of some employees. They may express themselves in e-mails, jokes and overtures to co-workers. Their intentions usually are innocent, but, as we all have learned, the thought may not mitigate the deed. Professions of innocence litter the road to court. What one employee considers fun can be seen quite differently by another. While no employer cares to be the “romance police,” employers need to maintain a safe and harmonious work environment.

Love On The Job: Legal Aspects of Workplace Romance

As Valentines Day approaches, some of your employees are getting into a romantic mood—perhaps with their co-workers. Your killjoy lawyer asks a question: Should an employer be concerned about workplace romances?

Office Romances Are Fine - Until They Go Bad

Nora Roberts said, "Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice." But love and the workplace? Well, that is a different ballgame.

Supervisor-Subordinate Relationships: Never A Good Idea

Since many people spend most of their waking hours at the office, and often spend more time with coworkers than family members, it's not unusual for workplace romances to blossom. But if that romance is between a supervisor and a subordinate, it could easily be a disaster waiting to happen. In fact, a prime example of how things can go south recently arose in Oregon's House of Representatives.

No Love For Love Contracts

63% of our poll respondents think that love contracts are a bad idea

Employment Law Update: Romance in the Workplace: You, Me and our Employer?

As Valentine’s Day approaches, here are some interesting facts for employers to consider: Statistics indicate that over 10 percent of married couples met at work. Almost a third of respondents in a recent survey by Monster Worldwide indicated that they had had a relationship in the workplace; roughly half of those employees surveyed said they would be open to office dating in general.

A Valentine's Day bouquet of sexual harassment cases

Ah, February! The month of love! Of course, if you're a lawyer, you see the worst of humanity and never get to hear about true, faithful, honorable, self-sacrificial love -- sexual harassment is as close to "love" as we ever get. (See, you thought lawyers were just jerks - now you feel sorry for us!)

Workplace (aka "fake") spouses -- a lot of hype, but here's how to avoid problems.

This February ("Valentine's Month"), there was a lot in the news about "workplace spouses." Last week, I was interviewed about this by Denis and Shelli of WSBT radio in South Bend, Indiana.

Where Love Abounds: Dealing With Workplace Romance

As Valentines Day approaches, some of your employees are getting into a romantic mood—perhaps with their co-workers. Your killjoy lawyer asks a question: Should an employer be concerned about workplace romances?

TOP 10 WAYS TO DEAL WITH WORKPLACE ROMANCES.

The recent spotlight on David Letterman’s alleged affairs with female subordinates is a useful reminder for careful employers: create a systematic plan for dealing with workplace harassment and romantic relationships. And then follow it.

Sexual Harassment Compliance Review: Workplace Romance.

As Valentines Day approaches, some of your employees are getting into a romantic mood—perhaps with their co-workers. Your killjoy lawyer asks a question: Should an employer be concerned about workplace romances?

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do: Love Contracts Can Make It Easier.

A 2007 Spherion Workplace Snapshot survey revealed that approximately 40% of U.S. workers have dated a co-employee, and that another 40% would consider doing so. Inevitably, most workplace relationships end. Some end badly, and many of those result in litigation involving claims of coercion or retaliation, despite the fact that most of these relationships are completely consensual at the outset.

Affair at Chili's Grill Sizzles – Restaurant Almost Gets Burned.

A recent decision by a federal appeals court should make employers, especially within the hospitality industry, take a look at their approach to office romances. Over the years, some courts have been hesitant to hold an employer liable for sexual discrimination when the harassment at issue is predicated solely upon an acrimonious breakup of an office romance. But this case illustrates a shift in this philosophy, recognizing that the focus in a harassment claim must be on the conduct at issue and that the motivating factor behind the harassment is irrelevant.

No Fraternization Policy: 1, Love: 0.

Workplace romances can lead to claims of sexual harassment, favoritism, breaches of ethics, and generally poor employee morale. As a result, many employers implement no-fraternization policies. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin) recently upheld a no-fraternization policy that was more strict than the norm.

"What’s Love Got To Do With It?" The Role of "Love Contracts" in the Workplace.

Can a so-called "love contract" between an executive and an employee, who willingly enter into a romantic relationship, save an employer from liability for harassment and retaliation claims, disastrous adverse publicity, untold workplace disruption, and attorney's fees? The answer is maybe – in the right cases and assuming that the employer selectively uses such written agreements together with meaningful enforcement of good no-harassment/no-retaliation and no-conflicts of interest policies.

Playing Favorites -- Romantic or Otherwise -- Is a Messy Game in the Workplace.

The fact that favoritism in the workplace exists is not news, but in high-profile cases, it often makes the news. Two years ago, for example, Harry C. Stonecipher was forced to resign the presidency of aerospace giant Boeing over a relationship with a Boeing executive. This spring, World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz had to resign after being accused of arranging a big raise and promotion for a woman with whom he was having a relationship.

Office Romances and the Risk of Liability.

A recent study revealed that at least seventy percent of employees will date someone at work at least once during their careers. In fact, nearly one-half of all married couples met each other in the workplace. In light of these statistics, employers cannot ignore the various issues that may arise when employees engage in romantic relationships with people they meet at work.

Love is in the Air -- Evaluating Office Romance Policies

Half of all employees have engaged in a romantic relationship with a co-worker.
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