Leadership and Organizational Behavior
Professor Dr. Jeffrey Weaver
Argue for the use of Consensual Relationship Agreements (CRAs) in your current (or future) workplace.
A Consensual Relationship Agreement is a contract for the parties involved in a romantic relationship. In this agreement, the parties acknowledge a list of “rules” to follow that will protect them in the workplace. Some of the items on the list are agreeing to abide by the workplace policies on antidiscrimination and antiharassment, behave professionally, and avoid behavior that would offend others in the workplace. By signing the Consensual Relationship Agreement, the parties involved are helping to protect themselves from false sexual harassment claims. Many times if a relationship fails, one party may say he/she was pressured into the relationship. A CRA can also reduce the risk of favoritism. A third party employee can sue a company for sexual harassment if he/she feels there is favoritism between to other employees because of their relationship. A CRA opens up a forum for discussion of behavior in the workplace. Human Resources can speak to the parties involved in a relationship about what is and is not appropriate work place behavior. Lastly, a Consensual Relationship Agreement reminds employees that there is a lack of privacy in the workplace. Reasonable rules can be set to limit communication about personal affairs to speaking privately and in person rather than using email and instant messaging. (Hellriegel and Slocum, 2011, 65)
In my job a Consensual Relationship Agreement would be beneficial because there are a lot of young people who work with me. Currently, there are no policies on workplace relationships. I feel having a policy would be beneficial because according to surveys, 59% of employees admitted to having an office romance and 64% would do so if the opportunity came about. However, 75% of employers don’t have policies on employees dating. (The Importance of a Workplace Romance Policy, 2011, 2) Because my job is filled with younger employees, there can be more issues that arise when a relationship goes bad. Many of the individuals are at the age where they go from one partner to the next. Naturally, this can upset many of the other employees because of jealousy or hurt. Also, there can be issues of inappropriate behavior in the workplace. A Consensual Relationship Agreement would help to protect the employees that are engaging in relationships from false accusations of sexual harassment. It would also inform the employees of the rules of dating at the workplace. They would have to be mindful of the other employees’ feelings and make sure they do not engage in certain displays of affection. After all, it is still very important to remain professional.
Create a counter argument against the use of CRAs in your current (or future) workplace. There are some people that will feel that a Consensual Relationship Agreement is invading their privacy because it involves what they are doing outside of their job. Many feel their personal life should be separate from their work life. Then there is the issue of when to approach two employees with a CRA. Should they be approached after a few lunch dates or when gossip has been circulating the office about a potential relationship going on? Once the relationship is out in the open, an employer will approach with one of these contracts. (Consensual Relationship Agreement, 2011, 6-7) At my place of employment, I don’t feel the younger individuals completely understand the importance of a CRA. They want to keep their personal life to themselves and do not want to discuss their love life with their managers or human resources. It can be awkward to the employees to discuss certain matters such as who they are dating at the time. Also, employees may not realize the affect their relationships…