The time-honored institution known as the office romance has survived threats like corporate no-fraternization policies, philandering chief executives, and David Letterman….Now there’s a new legal menace: scorned workers who claim that an office affair fostered an invidious work environment, even if they weren’t actually involved in the romance themselves. So-called third party or hostile work environment sexual harassment claims are difficult to prove but easy to allege, particularly by employees fearing for their jobs in a sluggish economy.
The article cites a few ambiguous surveys saying that quite a few people think workplace relationships are a bad idea, but we’re sure Jack Shafer would have something to say about those statistics.
However, let’s assume for a minute that office romance is declining, thanks to lawsuit-happy Americans. This might actually be a bad idea: management experts think that love at the water cooler can increase “engagement,” or a technical term for “feeling excited about coming in to work.” NPR, the Princeton Review, Pixar and Southwest even encourage in-house matchmaking, the article states.
Some companies are even asking employees to sign a “love contract,” the “office version of a prenup,” which is the employees promising that their love lives won’t interfere with work.
Geez, people. Why don’t you suck all the fun out of it?