A love contract is a contract signed by two employees in a romantic relationship in the same company. Many companies have strict policies for interoffice relationship. The policies exist to prevent sexual harassment suits filed against the company. Companies use a love contract to protect the company from liability, but it also protects the two individuals in the relationship.
A typical love contract will prohibit all forms of sexual harassment, including quid pro quo and any other unwanted sexual advances. It typically states that the relationship is consensual and the relationship will not be a negative impact on work. It will also include the possibility of a department transfer.
It may also include a provision in case the relationship ends. It will protect employees from retaliation or inappropriate conduct once the relationship is over. Some may include a limitation of public displays of affection. A limitation on public displays of affection is to protect other employees from a hostile work environment.
All love contracts will state that the employer and the parties to the contract will follow the contract terms.
Employers may use love contracts to indemnify themselves in case of sexual harassment. Employers can face a sexual harassment claim from workplace relationships. But a love contract identifies the rules of workplace relationships and informs employees of their rights. It allows employers to formally acknowledge the relationship. The contract will be proof that the employer took the steps to make a safe workplace environment.
Employers have nothing to lose by requiring a love contract for a work place romantic relationship. They have proof of taking steps to make a safe environment. They also informed the employees of their rights in the event of the end of the relationship.
Signing a love contract also benefits employees. When employees sign, they agree to relationship limitations in the workplace. But they also receive a line of protection against any retaliation at work.
Employers can enforce the love contract provision against the other employee in the event of the end of the relationship. Enforcing a love contract protects an employee from retaliation and harassment. If an employee violates a love contract, then the employer’s sexual harassment policy will take effect.
Employees do risk a department transfer, but a love contract will help maintain job security in the light of a workplace relationship.
Love contracts may vary amongst employers. Understanding what you are signing and how to benefit from the contract can be confusing. An contract lawyer can help you understand your rights and what to do in the event of a breach of the contract.