Everyone loves a good love story, especially when two people start as friends and over time fall in love with one another- except in the work place. While there, the only thing you should love is your job and success. But far too often coworkers find themselves falling for one another as they realize all the similar interests they share besides working at the same place.
Often companies will have very strict policies prohibiting supervisors and managers from dating employees, or other coworkers. However, sometimes when this happens, sexual harassment or conflict of interest claims; this is a nightmare for everyone. But, without these types of policies you risk coworkers breaking up, bringing their arguments directly into work (which affects the company), or worse- being sued.
The thing is, you can’t stop love. But you can stop your company from falling into a dramatic courtroom defending yourself and your company. For instance, Jill (manager) and Bob (entry level) work for your company and they fall madly in love, and then quickly out of love. Jill probably expects Bob to quit his job because she is a higher-up, but let’s say Bob refuses to go work somewhere else. If Jill quits she can then sue the company. It sounds outrageous, but she fears that she will be harassed and maybe even fired for breaking up with Bob. Or, if Bob is fired soon after the break up, he may claim it was because the two of them broke up and she was out to get him.
It’s a situation that is completely avoidable. First of all, have written, very specific expectations of romance for the company, and follow them! Secondly, have the couple sign a “love contract.” This is a document stating that the two of them are together willingly and that if the relationships ends and one of them quits that it is not because they feared being harassed or fired. By following these two steps your company can avoid all romantic issues, and continue focusing on work.