A Consensual Relationship Agreement (CRA) is essentially a written “contract” in which the romantically involved parties acknowledge the following: Their relationship is voluntary and consensual, they agree to abide by the employers antidiscrimination , anti-harassment, and workplace conduct policies, they promise to report any perceived harassment to management, if it occurs, they agree to behave professionally and not allow the relationship to affect their work performance, they agree to avoid behavior that offends others in the workplace and they agree to not engage in any favoritism. This is especially vital when one person is of higher ranking and has the authority to influence ...view middle of the document...
In addition any policy that allows dating amongst co-workers should have an excerpt for employees who are married to one another. Also CRA’s raise additional concerns when you are dealing with a Public and Just cause employee. A governmental entity or a company with a just cause termination policy must approach no dating policies with great care as there is a greater chance of invasion of privacy for governmental employees and employers must prove “just cause” termination.
A policy that prohibits a supervisor from dating a subordinate must also describe the penalty imposed if the policy is violated. In most companies men hold higher positions than women so a policy that always penalizes the subordinate may create sexual discrimination liability. When there is a no dating policy each party must be penalized equally. Any no dating policy must consider whether the policy will disadvantage certain employees. For example if your office is full of men, a no dating policy may have a negative effect on the co-ed socialization and as result career opportunities for women who are excluded.
Also a no dating policy is ineffective because it’s probably going to happen anyway. Research holds that if you put individuals with common interests together for more than 40 hours a week office romance is bound to happen. According the survey completed by valut.com, an online career center, 47 percent of the 1000 professionals surveyed had been involved in an office romance and another 19 percent would consider it. Of those individuals who had a romance 11 percent had dated their managers or another manager.
According to Mark Toth, the chief legal officer for Manpower North America, outplacement and employment Services Company based in Milwaukee he believes that CRA’s are just another case of over lawyering. Toth states that “it forces employers to become the love police, consistently enforcing who’s dating whom”, Toth adds that he’s not sure if such contracts will necessarily protect companies from litigation. An employee signing a love contract might claim that he or she signed under duress or that harassment began after the contract was signed. Some would argue that CRA’s are similar to prenuptial agreements.
When dealing with individual and organizational decision making one has to always ensure that they are making ethical decisions. Ethical intensity is described as the degree of moral importance given to an issue. It is determined by the combined impact of six factors and described as follows: magnitude of consequences, probability of effect, social consensus, temporal immediacy, proximity, and concentration of effect.
Magnitude of importance is that harms or benefits accruing to individuals affected by a decision or behavior. For example when dealing with CRA’s an action between two people who are romantically involved will affect company if the relationship turns bad and one or more parties decide to file a law suit for sexual harassment. This type...