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having employees engaged in an open office romance sign Consensual Relationship Agreements.Unfortunately, human behavior dictates that there will always be employees engaged in secret office relationships.If applicable: [Employee in supervisory position] will not participate in any discussions or decisions related to the terms of [subordinate employee’s] employment, including those related to assignments, evaluations, discipline or discharge, compensation, scheduling, promotion or demotion, and development.The social relationship does not violate [Employer’s] anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, and participation in the social relationship has not been made a condition or term of employment.A 1995 survey estimated that 80 percent of all employees have either observed or been involved in a romantic relationship at work. The Problems with Employee Dating Even though romantic relationships in the workplace are common, employers have legitimate reasons for concern about employee dating.

The biggest fear is a sexual harassment lawsuit arising from either: Sexual harassment laws prohibit "unwelcome" sexual advances.Concerned about sexual harassment charges, employers are wary of cupid’s arrow this Valentine’s Day and some of them are turning to “Love Contracts” or in lawyer terms – a Consensual Relationship Agreement.A Consensual Relationship Agreement is an effort to mitigate the risk of sexual harassment claims from an office romance gone awry by documenting that the relationship is consensual.Of those reporting they had dated a co-worker, 35 percent said they kept their romance a secret.Of course, my experience and the results of the survey begs the question: If 35 percent of the employees who have an office romance are keeping it secret and the majority (or 100% in my experience) of sexual harassment claims arise out of those secret romances, is there a benefit to having employees sign a Consensual Relationship Agreement.Insights for Employers Over the course of my twenty-three year legal career, I have provided legal advice and counsel in well over two hundred claims of sexual harassment.