One of the policies should address co-worker romantic relationships.In addition, associations should carry employment practices liability insurance.
This avoids the appearance of favoritism, conflicts of interest, and unprofessional or disruptive conduct in the workplace. If your association does not already have rules prohibiting supervisor-subordinate relationships, you could protect the association by having the manager and staff member sign a consensual relationship agreement, also known as a "love contract." The contract requires the manager and subordinate to (i) acknowledge that they are aware of the association's policy against sexual harassment, (ii) affirm that their relationship is mutually agreeable and not coerced, (iii) consent to guidelines on appropriate office behavior, such as refraining from displays of affection at work and work-related events, and (iv) agree that the relationship may be ended at any time by either party without fear of retaliation.Recommendation: Associations with employees should have handbooks reviewed by legal counsel and distributed to all employees.If other courts take a similar stance, companies might have no choice but to strictly forbid all boss/subordinate relationships.In the California case, employees accused a boss a "paramour favoritism" (i.e., giving promotions and other favors to women he'd had intimate relationships with).The safest solution The mandatory transfer policy makes a lot of sense (despite the fact that only 7% in our survey have implemented it).
It's anchored by two assumptions: A 2005 California Supreme Court case that adds a whole new dimension to boss/subordinate relationships.The inequality of the supervisor-subordinate relationship creates an element of coercion or claimed coercion.To protect against potential liability, associations should implement workplace rules that prohibit any kind of dating or sexual contact between supervisors and subordinates, whether on duty or off.The risk rises when the two members of a couple are on different levels of the org chart.When you hire a lot of passionate, engaging people, a couple of them are bound to hit it off in a way that goes beyond their shared interest in the business.Many people ridicule these policies, particularly the clause asking the parties to tip off HR when the relationship ends (“Can you imagine anybody actually doing that? And it sends a reminder to the two lovebirds, who believe their love will never end and are blind to the problems their relationship might cause in the workplace.