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Total Articles: 18

50 Shades Of Grey... In The Boardroom

As the weather heats up, summertime romances are probably on the minds of many of your employees. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, as many as 40% of workers have had an office relationship at some point in their careers. Even though employees might view office romances as harmless, they can often lead to a host of legal issues for an employer. In order to keep the boardroom from turning into the War of the Roses, companies should consider implementing an official “love contract” policy.

Sex at work: test your knowledge!

How much do you really know about sexual relationships in the workplace? Take my quiz, and find out!

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.

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.


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.

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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Jackson Lewis P.C. | Massachusetts | Massachusetts Law To Prohibit Inquiries Regarding Prior Salary at Interview (February 01, 2016)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | California Court of Appeal Holds Employee’s Agreement to Reimburse Training Costs in Event of Resignation Does Not Offend Public Policy (February 02, 2016)

Littler Mendelson, P.C. | New York | Don't Get Lost in the Weeds: Medical Marijuana is Now Legal in New York (February 01, 2016)

Ogletree Deakins | Massachusetts | Can a Massachusetts Religious School Refuse to Employ a Worker in a Same Sex Marriage (February 01, 2016)

Franczek Radelet P.C | Illinois | Definition of “Deliberate and Willful” Misconduct Under the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act Revised and Expanded (February 04, 2016)

Littler Mendelson, P.C. | New York | New York City Expands Human Rights Law to Prohibit Employment Discrimination Against Caregivers (February 01, 2016)

FordHarrison LLP | New York | HOME CARE PROFESSIONALS SERIES Part 1 – NYS Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights (February 02, 2016)

Franczek Radelet P.C | Illinois | Illinois Supreme Court Rules Educational Employers Are Not Required to Arbitrate “Do Not Hire” Designation (February 01, 2016)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | What California Retail Employers Need to Know About Accommodating Pregnancy (January 29, 2016)

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP | New York | New York City Commission on Human Rights Issues Enforcement Guidance on Fair Chance Act and Clarifies Credit Check Law Exemption (February 04, 2016)