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Consensual Relationship Agreement Essay

2028 words - 9 pages

Workplace romance is defined as a mutually desired relationship that includes physical attraction between two members of the same organization. Workplace romance is
consensual and mutually welcomed (Clarke 2006). More specifically, as with other romances, workplace romances are characterized by desiring to be with the other person and feelings of emotional and physical attraction, which may lead to a sharing of personal information, mutual caring and respect, and quite likely sexual behavior such as touching, kissing and hugging, and sexual intercourse (Pierce, Byrne, and Aguinis 1996).
Consensual relationship agreements, in my opinion, are a good idea for the workplace. They help ...view middle of the document...

Some people may feel like that person is being handed these promotions and raises due to their personal relationship with their boss. As a result, there could be turmoil in the workplace. Lawsuits of discrimination could potentially be filed and things could take a turn for the worse.
Having consensual relationships with subordinates is likely to interfere with the ability of a superior to act and make decisions fairly and without favoritism. When being faced with a decision of whether or not to promote a significant other or another employee when both individuals have the same credentials and capabilities, it would be hard for a person who has a personal, romantic relationship with one of them to make a fair decision as to who best deserves the position. Even if the superior is able to avoid being biased, the other people in the workplace or learning environment are likely to see themselves as being less favored and as disadvantaged by the personal relationship. In many instances the damage can continue long beyond the actual time span of the relationship and can make people suspicious of any future professional interactions between the parties.
Even though romantic relationships in the workplace are common, employers have legitimate reasons for concern about employee dating. The biggest fear is a sexual harassment lawsuit arising from either: 1) a supervisor who has a habit of asking subordinates out on dates; 2) an employee who files a lawsuit after a consensual relationship goes sour; or 3) the perception of co-workers that a supervisor is playing favorites with his or her "significant other." Sexual harassment laws prohibit "unwelcome" sexual advances. Therefore, the participants in a truly "consensual" relationship cannot prove sexual harassment. The difficulty for the employer is proving that the relationship was consensual. Often, an employee will argue that he or she was an unwilling participant in a relationship that merely appeared to be consensual. Even a consensual relationship, if it goes sour, can result in unwelcome advances, stalking, or other predatory conduct.
In a consensual relationship between a supervisor and a subordinate, the subordinate often is the recipient of preferential treatment. Employees have asserted claims for sexual harassment based on the theory that they can't receive the same benefits because they are not "sleeping with the boss." However, most courts have rejected this argument because such a consensual relationship disadvantages both male and female employees equally. The exception, of course, is where a supervisor propositions many employees, and only those who receive preferential treatment.
Being a teacher and working in a school setting I most definitely don’t think that teachers and students should have a personal relationship. This would happen most likely at the high school and college level. To me this is a very bad idea because students look to their professors and teachers for...

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