by Meghann F. Kantke, Esq., Gray Plant Mooty, Minneapolis
When cupid’s arrow flies between co-workers, it can lead to headaches—and sometimes lawsuits—for employers. A thriving workplace romance can lead to favoritism complaints from other employees. In turn, romantic relationships that sour can lead to drama and distractions at work—or, worse, to allegations that the spurned party is engaging in sexual harassment or retaliation.
So how can employers avoid trouble without getting overly wrapped up in romantic entanglements?
An approach at the strictest end of the spectrum is for an employer to ban all office romances, typically through a nepotism policy. Under a nepotism policy, if co-workers want to have a romance, one of them has to seek another job.
This type of policy may head off possible sexual harassment or retaliation claims, but it is not without its own problems.
Employees may complain that t...(register to read more)