In an article published in Modern Restaurant Management on August 2, Molly Gwin discusses the idea of having a workplace romance policy in place, specifically in the restaurant industry. Historically, workplaces have banned the ability to have romantic relationships with other employees, sometimes resulting in termination for those that did not comply. However, as work-life and home-life balances are becoming more fluid and employees spend more time together, relationships are likely to flourish. Smart and progressive employers must recognize this new reality and consider reinstating a workplace romance policy and personnel manual to make sure it accommodates the culture of office romances.
Along with an influx in the number of relationships that form within the workplace, “comes the potential for legal claims of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and favoritism between different employees. Workplace romance policies – of which consensual relationship agreements are just a part – are important in creating a culture of openness and honesty as well as an essential part of protecting against legal claims,” Gwin explains. She encourages employers to consider the use of a consensual relationship agreement, especially in the case of a relationship between a supervisor and subordinate.
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