In Roman mythology, Cupid is the god of love, son of Venus. But
one look at that cherubic boy holding a bow and arrow should alert
you that he may be bringing more trouble than love to the
workplace. So can you or should you keep romance out of the
workplace? How can you address legitimate liability concerns
without invading employees' privacy? And what should you do to
protect yourself so Cupid does not wreak havoc in the
Workplace romance is nothing new. Indeed, workplace
relationships can be positive and fulfilling for those involved,
and many people have fallen in love in the workplace and sustained
lasting relationships. But there are potential downsides.
Continuing development of federal and state employment laws coupled
with the trend toward longer hours on the job can make the
workplace a breeding ground (no pun intended) for claims of
unlawful harassment, discrimination, favoritism, retaliation and
conflicts of interest.
The problem with workplace romance is you can do little to
prevent it because no rules or policies can stop emotions. Yet
recent court decisions plainly place greater responsibility on
employers to prevent the often negative effects of workplace
romances. Such relationships not only have practical implications
for workplace morale, productivity and perceptions of fairness but
also have potential legal consequences. You should take steps to
address workplace romances well in advance.
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