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Is it legal to fully prohibit employees from dating one another?

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Having to sign this agreement (which my boyfriend also signed) seems kind of intrusive, doesn’t it? — Dear Wondering: I’m a little surprised that the HR person didn’t explain this to you, but what the company is doing is trying to prevent a potential sexual harassment lawsuit.

The document you signed — sometimes called a “cupid contract” or a “love agreement” — probably spells out the firm’s policy on sexual harassment, including to whom you can turn for help if your romance goes sour and your boyfriend starts, for instance, stalking you at work or threatening to get you fired.

MORE: Become a Most Powerful Women Entrepreneur Especially ominous for employers (and their lawyers) is that, as a group, the millennial generation is more than three times more likely to see no problem with dating their supervisors than all other age groups combined,the Workplace Options study notes: 40% of millennials would get involved with a boss, versus just 12% of older employees.

“There is a lot of potential liability if one party in a relationship reports to the other,” Campbell says.

A manager in the human resources department called me into her office and gave me a document to sign that said (among other things) that my relationship with my boyfriend is “voluntary.” One reason I chose this internship in the first place is because my boyfriend, who graduated last year, works here now, and we thought it would be great to spend the summer at the same firm, although we are in different departments.

But why is the fact that we’re a couple any of the company’s business?For example, if an employer’s policy dictates that one of the partners must leave the organization if a relationship is discovered, it cannot always be the woman who is forced to leave. About Bridget Miller: Bridget Miller is a business consultant with a specialized MBA in International Economics and Management, which provides a unique perspective on business challenges.She’s been working in the corporate world for over 15 years, with experience across multiple diverse departments including HR, sales, marketing, IT, commercial development, and training.“But it does minimize the company’s legal liability.” When a supervisor and a subordinate are involved with each other, she adds, the part of the cupid contract that says the romance is voluntary is especially important, from a legal point of view: “It establishes from the outset that there is no Of course, that doesn’t apply to you and your boyfriend — but I bet this whole subject is a bigger can of worms than you suspected.Considering all the various ways that office romances can turn ugly and litigious, having to sign a cupid contract might not seem so strange.In fact, a new poll by work-life and benefits consultants Workplace Options suggests the millennial generation is blissfully unaware of how messy, and how nasty, sex in the office can get.