Love Is In The Air
A 2018 CareerBuilder survey indicates that love is in the air …at work!! According to respondents, 36% have gone out with a co-worker, 30% have dated someone in a higher position than them, and 22% have had a workplace romance with their boss.
20 years ago, most companies had a Fraternization Policy banning managers from spending any time off-the-clock with non-managerial employees. Things have changed. Now companies have opted for a Dating Policy that discourages romance on the job, but doesn’t outright prohibit them.
The trend is to require employees to report their romances, whether the relationship is with a boss, colleague or vendor. By maintaining an open dialogue, companies hope to manage the risks of romance to avoid surprise sexual harassment claims.
“Love Contracts” further manage risks using written agreements. The couple is required to sign a dating agreement stating the relationship is consensual and acknowledging the company grievance process. Any refusal to sign the agreement can trigger an investigation into whether the relationship is indeed consensual.
One thing is clear. Controlling human emotions and “Cupid’s Arrow” is more complicated than a complete ban on all workplace romance. In light of the #MeToo movement companies are facing continued debate on where to draw the line. After all, 31% of office romances end up in marriage.