Jason Habinsky in The Boston Globe on Office “Love Contracts”

02/13/2018

The Boston Globe quoted Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Jason Habinsky on the rise of “love contracts” in workplace relationships.

As more women speak out about sexual misconduct in the workplace, employers are getting increasingly nervous about all the people dating on their watch, the Boston Globe reported

Many companies already forbid supervisors from asking out subordinates, but some are cracking down on romance altogether, employment lawyers and human resource consultants say. Others are looking into love contracts — known more formally as consensual relationship agreements — in which co-workers who are romantically involved sign a document stating that they are together voluntarily and are aware of the rules surrounding workplace dating. …

“Companies are trying to get creative and proactive and doing lots of different things to protect themselves and protect the workplace,” said Jason Habinsky, an employment lawyer at Haynes and Boone in New York. “Something that might have been considered awkward or unnecessary, now companies are willing to look past that.” …

Companies that have had to deal with ugly co-worker breakups or harassment lawsuits tend to be more proactive about having employees sign love contracts, employment lawyers say. These documents can be helpful in resolving allegations raised against a company by showing that the employer was trying to protect and inform employees about the rules surrounding the relationship.

“I don’t necessarily think it wins the day [in court], but it’s a helpful fact,” said Habinsky, who, like other employment lawyers interviewed, had never used one in court. …

Excerpted from the Boston Globe. To read the full article, click here.

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