Why Did HR Make Me Sign an Agreement About My Office Romance?
New York City is home to millions of professionals working – and dating – in the City. When your job life starts mingling with your romantic life, things might become messy. Our NYC sexual harassment lawyers have seen countless cases where a fun work fling turns into legal ordeal.
If you engage in office dating, your NYC workplace may require you to disclose the inter-office romance to Human Resources, and subsequently sign an agreement stating your relationship is consensual. Often called a “love agreement” or a “cupid contract,” these documents generally spell out the company’s sexual harassment policy. Human Resources representatives require this to thwart potential liability in the future. It could help them prevent a sexual harassment lawsuit if the relationship turns sour, and one party starts harassing, stalking, or bothering the other.
These “cupid contracts” also typically state that either party’s job position won’t be affected if the relationship ends. So, each half of the couple is protected from retaliation and everyone has the right to report any repercussions or harassment to management. A love agreement might also outline the general guidelines for office dating. For example, your company may prohibit relationships between supervisors and subordinates.
Can I still sue even if I signed a love agreement?
If you signed a cupid contract and now you are being harassed, it may affect your ability to bring forth a sexual harassment lawsuit in case the romance really does end badly. Many of these love agreements have stated arbitration clauses – meaning you agree not to sue if there is a problem in the future. Instead, you are agreeing to settle the disagreement outside of the traditional courtroom setting through arbitration, which involved a panel of arbitrators rather than a judge.
Before you sign anything, read over its terms and conditions. What may seem like a harmless agreement may severely limit your legal rights down the road. A New York sexual harassment lawyer at the Derek Smith Law Group can review any legal documents you might have to sign, and can assist you if you need legal counsel for a sexual harassment case.
The Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handles a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment in Manhattan and the greater New York City area. For further information, please feel free to call us at 212-587-0760 or toll-free at 1-877-4NYLAWS or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.