Employers must also consider the risks involved when employees use their company-provided devices before or after working hours and outside of the workplace.
Employers should educate their employees on these policies, make their expectations explicit, and, importantly, make sure that employees are aware of whether and to what extent the employer is monitoring the device. BYOD Policies Employers with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs face a number of issues.
While they planned to keep the relationship a secret, Ron ended up telling everyone in the office and he even announced it live on the air. The acrimony between the two culminated in Veronica changing the words on Ron’s teleprompter to a profanity-laden version of Ron’s famous sign off phrase.
One day, however, Ron was late to work and Veronica filled in for him on air. This resulted in significant post-breakup tension in the workplace. He read the phrase as written on the prompter, the viewers protested, and Ron was fired.
The HR department, supervisors, and even co-workers are therefore usually in the dark about the romance until things have gotten ugly.
And so while love contracts may avoid some liability when the romance is made known, those agreements clearly are not a cure-all for avoiding liability stemming from workplace romances given the secrecy of so many of them.
Given the risks, employers should consider implementing policies, in addition to their sexual harassment policy, outlining expectations of employee conduct with regard to romantic relationships with coworkers (and perhaps even romantic relationships with third-party individuals such as employees of vendors).
Employers may decide to prohibit these relationships altogether, or just those between workers and their supervisors.
Ron and Veronica’s workplace romance isn’t too dissimilar from those that employment lawyers deal with sometimes (although it’s certainly an extreme example).The intent of these contracts is to prevent sexual harassment claims arising from the relationship between the two employees.The practical reality, however, is that many workplace romances remain secret until things go south.BYOD programs allow employees to use their own mobile devices for work-related purposes—for example, to stay connected to, access data from, or complete tasks for their employers.While BYOD programs have their advantages (from the standpoint of increased productivity and morale), they also bring privacy and security challenges.