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Consensual Relationship Agreements Case Study

1620 words - 7 pages

BUS520 Assignment 1 Vastano
Consensual Relationship Agreements Case Study

November 10, 2012

Consensual Relationship Agreements Case Study
Consensual workplace agreements are being adopted by some companies it response to workplace romances. I am going to argue for the use of them and also counter against their merit. There will be a discussion of the ethics involved in their use. I also plan to give an alternative to the consensual workplace agreements.
There are many reasons for using Consensual Relationship Agreements in the workplace. We will examine a few of the reasons I feel are that they are valid and have merit for use. These are protection from sexual harassment lawsuits, ...view middle of the document...

Productivity, cooperation, communication and teamwork can all be improved by not only those involved, but others working in the environment. (Cole, 2009) Those involved in the consensual workplace agreement may feel valued and this would have a positive effect upon their needs being met. The people involved in the relationship may not be acting in a normal manner if they are constantly wondering if what they are doing may cause a detrimental outcome to their employment.

By using a consensual relationship agreement it will help establish rules for workplace etiquette. Rules for how to act on the job can be specified in that agreement. This is not just for peer involvement but also supervisor subordinate relationships as well. Putting guidelines in the agreement may help from ethical lines at the workplace being crossed.

Consensual Relationship Agreements can also be detrimental to the workforce. It may make employees feel as if they have no privacy. They feel that their interpersonal relationships are their business. Questions may arise in how the company perceives them. Am I an asset to the company or by signing the agreement am I just a liability waiting to happen? Feelings of worth or value may be skewed.

There may be also an issue of extramarital affairs. What if one or both of the parties are involved in a marriage or long term relationship? Signing a consensual relationship agreement may be seen as an invasion of privacy. Most parties involved in these would not be willing to sign any agreement. This could have detrimental long term effects on them.

When parties are openly signing an agreement that they are involved it can lead to others in the workplace questioning favoritism. It could lead to thoughts of did they get the promotion because of the involvement. Peers may perceive preferential treatment for other coworkers. Although these feeling may occur with or without an agreement it can lead to feelings that the company is condoning the action.

One of the main reasons that companies seem to be using the agreements is for limitation of liability. The have the feeling that if they have the parties involved sign the relationship agreement that they may avoid sexual harassment lawsuits. During a 10 year period over 14000 sexual harassment lawsuits were filed annually, of these an average of 51 per year were filed due to failed office romances. (Lickey, Berry, & Whelan-Berry, 2009) The feeling that a company is looking out more for itself than the value of the employee is highlighted.

Workplace romances are bound to happen. There are some statistics that show that 44% of workplace romances lead to marriage and an additional 23% lead to long term relationships. (Boyd, 2010) These may be hindered or altered if the people involved feel as if their employer is taking too much notice. It may affect the outcome of how the relationship goes.

There are also ethical principals involved in the consensual relationship...

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