Should We Have a Consensual Relationship Agreement?

by Mammoth Team on November 10, 2015

Q: I’ve heard that some companies are beginning to ask employees who are dating each other to sign some sort of agreement. Is something we should do?

A: An agreement regarding the dating relationship is not required. Many employers use them, however, because they can help set expectations and reduce liability. We generally recommend that employees sign a Consensual Relationship Agreement if they enter into a romantic relationship with each other.

7 things the romantically-involved employees should acknowledge in the agreement:

  1. The relationship is voluntary and consensual.
  2. They are at liberty to terminate the relationship, individually or collectively, at any time and without fear of retribution.
  3. Entering into or staying in the relationship has not been made a term or condition of employment.
  4. They have received, read, and understand the company’s sexual harassment policy.
  5. Their relationship doesn’t violate this or any other company policy.
  6. If the relationship involves persons in supervisor/subordinate roles, one or both parties may be required to move to a different job or department, and if no other jobs are available, the parties will be given the option of terminating their relationship or resigning from the company.
  7. They will not allow an end to the relationship to adversely affect job performance.

Office romances change the nature of employee relationships and can affect performance and culture in the workplace. By signing a Consensual Relationship Agreement, the employees acknowledge that they understand company expectations and requirements. Should any complaints arise from either party in connection to the workplace romance, the agreement shows that the employees understood it was their responsibility to maintain a professional working relationship.

Workplace relationships. They're often unavoidable, given that the average American spends about a third of their day at work. So, what can you do to address them? 

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Topics: Culture, Best Practices