Mark Toth of the Manpower Employment Law Blog has an interesting post on "hooking up at work" and whether love contracts are a good idea. This is where co-workers sign a contract in order to protect the company and the employees involved against sexual harassment or other discrimination charges. Mark says he doesn’t think the agreements are necessarily a good idea because it forces the company to become the love police and subordinates may claim that they were forced to sign such an agreements under duress when a superior is involved.
Other employment lawyers quoted in the Newsweek article featuring Mark believe the love contracts may be a good idea. However, I tend to agree with Mark. Sure certain office-romance relationships may start out consensual but it can quickly turn to harassment when one of the lovers calls it quits and the other won’t give up the pursuit. I tend to believe that the changed circumstances and conduct that occurred after the relationship broke off still opens the company up to liability – love contract or no love contract.