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Consensual Relationship Agreements - Article Example

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Consensual Relationship Agreements

Love, attraction, or something like it has been in the air right from the time the first Neanderthal man clubbed, wooed and carried off the first Neanderthal woman to his cave as a life partner. And so it is with life in the office today. Try as we might, most of us in open and free Western societies cannot help feeling attraction for each other. Love happens- even in the workplace- and in fact is quite a common occurrence. To quote the British poet George Herbert, ‘love and a cough’ certainly ‘cannot be hid’. What is a CRA? A CRA is short for a Consensual Relationship Agreement. Consensual Relationship Agreements are written contracts enforceable in the workplace and generally drawn up by Human Resources Departments with a view to preventing or avoiding liability or litigation with respect to sexual harassment and other disagreements arising from a love relationship gone sour between partners in the workplace. It’s a way of trying to ensure that love and work don’t mix. But as they say, it is easier said than done. We cannot separate feelings and emotions from the man or the woman or separate his or her home and family life. Some organizations even ban husband and wife from working in the same firm, but obviously one cannot predict or prevent personal relationships from forming as a consequence of spending 40 hours or more together or in close proximity with each other- hence the need for the CRA or Contractual Relationship Agreement. Human Resource Departments have taken to include CRAs as part of their joining package so that both employees and employer know their rights and liabilities on this account. It is however futile to prevent romantic relationships in the workplace because surveys indicate that as much as 47 percent of employees have engaged in a romantic relationship in the workplace at some time in their lives while 19 percent would consider it. Are CRAs Really Needed in the Workplace? One might consider whether or not CRAs are really needed in the workplace. Most Human Resource professionals would definitely say so in the light of some not so pleasant incidents that had occurred in the workplace, for which the organization was also unwittingly made a partner in crime. In other words, the plaintiff not only sued the former co-worker/ love partner but also the organization in which the relationship took place. To prevent such a situation from occurring, it is seen that it is far better for organizations to have a policy on this issue. That said, the common elements of a CRA or Consensual Relationship Agreement are usually the following: a. The relationship between the romantically involved parties is consensual and voluntary; b. Agreement to abide by the firm’s anti-harassment, anti-discriminatory and workplace conduct policies; c. A promise to report any perceived harassment to management, should it occur; d. Agreement to behave in a professional manner and not to let the relationship affect their work performance; e. Agreement to avoid behavior that offends others in the workplace; f. Not to engage in favoritism. Applicable especially to relationships where one employee reports to another or has the authority to influence the career prospects of the other employee in the relationship. If it is desired to make a CRA an official part of company policy, it should be read and signed by all joining and existing employees. By signing a CRA, employees are ...Show more


Consensual Relationship Agreements Case Study Assignment Name of the Writer Name of the Institution Consensual Relationship Agreements Love and Romance in the Workplace Let’s face it- man is a social animal and it is hardly surprising that most of human achievement through the ages has been the result of teamwork and cooperation…
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