04 Aug “Love Is In the Air… In Your Business!?” (Fraternization Policy)
Falling in love is never a bad thing, is it? How about if it happens at work?
According to a recent study, over 70% of employees today have had some sort of work-place relationship, and over 50% of workers met their spouses on the job. As beautiful as found love may be, it’s not always a good thing for everyone involved. Work-place romance and fraternization may seem innocent enough, but they have the potential of becoming a huge headache and even a Lawsuit for a business owner.
Often, these relationships can cause a strain on management and staff, whether it be the two (or more) people directly involved, or other employees/officers who are affected by inconsistencies or favoritism. A romantic relationship between a supervisor and a subordinate can prove to be an even more serious issue, as these situations can often lead to serious Sexual Harassmentaccusations!
It may surprise you to discover what is actually considered “Sexual Harassment”! Often trouble stems from even consensual relationships!
The California Fair Housing & Employment Act (FHEA) has strict rules on prohibiting sexual harassment in the business environment.
This is where as a business owner, you can run into trouble. A large number of lawsuits and claims stem from these work-place relationships and their often volatile nature.
Enforcing a Fraternization Policy at your business can protect you against such claims. This policy should be integrated into your Employee Handbook, as well as customized and unique to your business. Make sure to enlist a top labor attorney to review such a policy.
Below we have included some valuable resources to further detail the importance of a fraternization policy and other related information:
- 5 Tips for Your ‘No Fraternization’ Policy (courtesy ofFindLaw.com – Blog)
- OFFICE ROMANCES AND THE RISK OF LIABILITY(courtesy of Shaw Valenza, LLP – Publications)
ALWAYS REMEMBER! EVEN IF YOU DO EVERYTHING RIGHT – YOU CAN STILL BE SUED!
An Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) policy is the ONLY insurance policy that covers Sexual Harassment accusations!