Jason Habinsky in The Sunday Times UK on Office Relationship ‘Love Contracts’

11/12/2019

The Sunday Times UK quoted Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Jason Habinsky in an article about a recent incident at McDonald’s that has increased attention around strict new policies for office relationships in the UK.

Here is an excerpt:

If one thing does lead to another, many US firms force colleagues to sign a "love contract." No, really. It's a legal document providing written confirmation from both parties that their relationship is consensual, that they understand the company's sexual harassment policies and waive their rights to take legal action against the company or each other if the relationship sours. In the American version of Ricky Gervais's The Office, Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell, is so excited to sign a love contract with his boss, Jan, that he dots the "i" in his name with a heart.

These contracts are particularly onerous in Silicon Valley. There, big companies' obsessive secrecy means they ask couples who work for rivals to sign an agreement that one will not divulge corporate secrets to the other. Jason Habinsky, an employment lawyer at Haynes and Boone in New York, concedes that some of the new US legal maneuvres might look "awkward or unnecessary" but explains that "companies are trying to get creative and proactive to protect themselves and protect the workplace."

To read the full article, click here. (Subscription required)

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