Sheriff's Department Bans Workplace Romance
Marriage will get you fired, too.
Surveys show that over half of all working people have engaged in some sort of relationship with a co-worker. And according to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 31 percent of workers said their office romance has led to marriage. As taboo as dating a fellow employee can be, the fact is, many couples meet in the workplace.
Unless they work at the Putnam County Sheriff's Department in Tennessee.
Sheriff David Andrews has implemented a strict no-dating and no-marrying policy for the purpose of maintaining a "friendly but professional atmosphere" within the department.
The policy reads:
"Employees of the Putnam County Sheriff's Department are not allowed to date or marry one another. In the event employees wish to date one another, one of the parties must abandon his/her employment with the Putnam County Sheriff's Department."
Don't get any ideas, either. Casual flings aren't allowed.
"Romantic or sexual relations between employees at the Putnam County Sheriff's Department are inappropriate and will result in disciplinary action up to dismissal of either or both persons involved."
Sheriff's Chief Deputy Jacky Farley said the policy is meant to prevent workplace conflicts.
"These situations sometimes cause scheduling difficulties or result in conflicts that could get in the way of work," Farley told the Herald Citizen.
But there's a bit of a problem. Some of the employees at the Putnam Sherriff's Department are already involved in blossoming office romances. They will be affected by the new policy. Some of them have said they plan to challenge it in court.
Ashley Brightwell, a lawyer in Atlanta, explains that many workplaces realize that preventing office dating is futile, so they utilize love contracts. Brightwell told the Wall Street Journal:
"It used to be that many companies had strict prohibitions on office romances. Then they recognized that wasn’t going to work, and that no matter what the policies were, employees were going to get involved. That’s when the idea of a love contract came along. It’s a tool that employers use to protect themselves when an office romance goes sour."
So what happens when office romances go sour? According to both Brightwell and this article from the HR Specialist, scorned lovers often "allege that their former lover was a sexual harasser."
So it's understandable that employers would want to get rid of the lovey-dovey business altogether, and legally, they can. But HR Specialist argues:
"…it probably isn't the wisest move. A 'no romance' policy could be nearly impossible to enforce and affect employees who are already involved in relationships with co-workers."
So the new policy might end up causing more problems in the Putnam Sherriff's Department than it's trying to prevent. Still, Farley says:
"We believe the new policy is legally acceptable and that it will help the department maintain a professional atmosphere."
What do you think? Should office romance be forbidden? Did you meet your partner at work?
Image: Map of Cookeville, Tenn. (© 2011 Microsoft Corporation/2010 NAVTEQ)
More on love & sex from MSN Living:
but they can still marry their cousins....guess u really do learn something new every day
Wow, she must have dumped your pathetic sorry rear and then got you fired khromag...
As far as your ignorant insult to other people on this post and your direct hit to me, you a obviously a pathetic loser like my husband.
As with what you probably choose as a "Sack Mate" like my ex, was actually less then what you may have cheated on and as with my ex, realized you made a major mistake, wanted back, then was told to take a hike.
Only idiots who have done that are as ignorantly angry as you are.
I on the other hand am now very happy with someone else and my ex has put on and weight and cannot find the "Happiness/Love" he thought was gone from us.
It is a shame too, and I feel for him, but that is what you get for your ignorance.
GOOD LUCK khromag (your name says it all) with you finding what you think you lost.
LoL What a bunch of Whiny Losers... I met my wife at my office... So suck it...
If I am doing my job and my relationship is not effecting my job, what did I say before.... Thats right ... suck it...
Thats why you lost your husband/wife to someone at the office is because you are a snively whiny baby... and the person they are with now is probably hotter also... LoL
Thats why you are where you are now... alone... Nope I didnt pay any alimony either...
So suck it...
In respose to united states of hypocrisy and Cindy Angiono (Cinziaaus)
First, I am a woman, second I was married for over twenty years, but have personally seen the wrath of "Theses Office Romances" when they go sour.
Even though I did lose my husband to one of these "Office Romances" I did keep my dignity through it all. However, I have personally seen the spouses of (both men and woman) cause such a scene, that both infidels are let go, alimony was more important and a deeper cut to him then having him loose his job.
Like i stated before, majority of these "Romances" end badly whether it involves cheaters or singles and that business, organization, whatever, DOES HAVE A RIGHT TO PROTECT THEIR INTEREST PERIOD!!!
YOU ARE "JUST" AN EMPLOYEE!!!
In a perfect world where everyone just went to work and human emotions could be turned off this would be a great policy. If this could be enforced all employers across the globe would implement this program. The Sheriff's department should realize that this policy has been tried by many larger private companies who spent billions on a program just like this. These policies failed and this Sheriff shall to. No judge or jury can make this stick, because the doors it opens up are too great.
The department will spend more resources on legal battles regarding office romance then they will doing their actual job of public safety.
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