CONSENSUAL RELATIONSHIP AGREEMENTS: LOVE CONTRACTS
When we think of work its’ connotation leads us to think of our way of life. It’s our way to make money, keep a roof over our heads, as well as put food on the table. Over time, through many studies, it has become a known fact that America is one of the most work-oriented nations in the world. Americans have a reputation for spending more time at work than we do at home. With that in mind, why is finding love in the workplace considered something that would not, could not, and should not be done? According to a study published in the L.A. Times (2007), 43 percent of Americans admit to dating someone from their place of employment. There used to be a time when dating at work was considered taboo and was even forbidden by many companies. Presently, more companies are beginning to view the subject differently and allowing dating inside the companies under certain guidelines. The most common guideline these companies employ is known as a, Consensual Relationship Agreement which is also known as a love contract or a CRA. A CRA ensures that both parties have entered into a relationship voluntarily and consensually. WHY USE CONSENUAL RELATIONSHIP AGREEMENTS
Consensual Relationship Agreements are beneficial for almost any work environment. According to the L.A. Times, (2007)Consensual Relationship Agreements are a type of contracts that shield employers from liability if intimacy later congeals into a sexual harassment lawsuit or some other type of discord.
Up to today’s date, CRAs have not been used in court but one could look at the Myers v Trendwest Resorts case where the plaintiff claimed her supervisor repeatedly made unwanted sexual advances during off-site business events and utilized sexual favoritism in the workplace or the Miller v Department of Corrections case in California where a warden allegedly engaged in favoritism in exchange for sexual relations (Carello & Shinaman, 2008). In both cases, the employer was at fault due to their employee’s misconduct. If these places of business had employed a Consensual Relationship Agreement policy than the supervisor in the Myers case would have been forced to think before he acted because if his subordinate welcomed his advances they would have had to sign a contract. In addition under a CRA, they would have had to find different positions due to the guidelines that an employee cannot be directly supervised by his or her lover. On the other hand, when it comes to the Department of Corrections case the warden would not have been able to engage in multiple relationships with subordinates and show favoritism because he would have known there was a paper trail. Due to the signing of Consensual Relationship Agreements by everyone he had a relationship with. Also the employment of a CRA policy would have led to his dismissal, eliminating the need for a lawsuit and court case because there it would of shown that he was not the type of man that hold such a high position with such power. Everyone knows with power comes responsibility.
Basically love contracts protect both employers and employees alike. If you are an accused employer, that someone feels should be held liable of your employee’s actions then a Consensual Relationship Agreement can prove that any actions were voluntary and thus prove that the employer should not be held liable. Moreover, Consensual Relationship Agreements aids the sexual harassment policy. “It is there as a reminder that everyone is entitle to a harassment free workplace and or environment. It is a constant reminder that there is a policy in place to protect employees (Findlaw for legal Partners, 2000).” Imagine a place of business that is growing, hiring 100 plus employees every three months to work in an enclosed environment in different locations throughout the same city. Every building has teams which forms a network that joins each location together. Due to the type of...
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