The Boss’s favorable treatment of lovers can be harassment for others.   According to 996 respondents to an on-line poll by Vaultreports,  59% said they have had a workplace romance at some point in their careers, 17% said they had never dated a co-worker but they would, 24% said they had no interest in an office romance.   It’s a common scenario for romance to spark between co-workers in the workplace.  Is it happening in River City, City Hall or is it just my imagination?

The new rules of engagement for an office affair is the “LOVE CONTRACT.”  The “Love Contract” was designed to limit liability in case of an office romance spinning out of control.  Does Riverside have one? A dating policy or an office romance policy . Gary Matheason and Jeff Tanambaum employment attorneys at Littler Mendelson in San Francisco are Co-Creators of the “Love Contract”.  Designed to help ward off sexual harassment claims filed by a jilted lover.  The risks to the taxpayer and employees are great.  Not having the policies in place is like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand, ignores the risk instead of managing them.  We will give Riverside the benefit of the doubt, so we emailed the City Clerk a request:

To: city_clerk@riversideca.gov

Subject: Love Contract

Date: May 30, 2011 9:45 AM

As per public records act: I am requesting all policy and procedure guidelines relating to “a romance policy”, “a dating policy”, or “a Love Contract”.

A Relationship between a supervisor and a subordinate can be troublesome. Favoritism arising out of a personal relationship is damaging to the whole department. Two major issues could arise Conflict of Interest between the two and not enough time being spent on doing work assigned.  Not to mention the target of office gossip in the blogosphere or elsewhere consuming the office dialog.  Wide spread favoritism, and nasty rumors can create a sexually hostile work environment. Employers face greater risk from a workplace romance.  California Supreme Court rules that office affairs may give rise to sexual favoritism claims.  {Miller v California Department of corrections} Employees in California may now sue their employers for sexual harassment if the sexual affair between a superior and a subordinate results in sexual favoritism.  It is a Violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

“Sleeping her way to the top” was the basis of this lawsuit. Numerous women were romantically and sexually involved with their boss.  Women got ahead and were promoted if they performed sexual favors for their supervisor. Preferential treatment, raises, promotions, company perks were all part of the repeated incidence of sexual favoritism. The outcome was a hostile work environment where women got ahead and were promoted if they performed sexual favors for their superior.  Sexual Favoritism sends a message to female employees that they must demean themselves by becoming sexual playthings in order to get ahead at work. In this particular case it was proven that “Boss’s favorable treatment of lovers can be harassment to others.”

Now tell me again why Tom DeSantis left?

UPDATE: 06/01/2011: Still No Response To Our Request From The City Clerks Office.  Keep Connected, TMC investigates.

UPDATE: 06/06/2011: We received a response from Sherry Morton-Ellis, CMC Assistant City Clerk as follows: Pursuant to California Government Code Section 6253, the City of Riverside submits this response to your request received on May 30, 2011.  In your request, you seek: •  All policies and procedure guidelines relating to a “romance policy”, “dating policy”, or “love contract”. We have searched our records and found that are no records responsive to your request.

Comments
  1. […] TMC WELCOMES NEWEST BLOGGER TO THE COMMUNITY, CITY MANAGER SCOTT BARBER.  BARBER RECOMMENDS TO THE COUNCIL TO PLACE A BLOG FOR THE COMMUNITY TO ASK QUESTIONS.  QUESTIONS ABOUND OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF INTEROFFICE DATING AS RUMORED OF BARBER WITHOUT A LOVE CONTR… […]

  2. […] this means is we have the favoritism.  Favoritism can cause undo stress within the workplace.  We did a story back in May 2011 regarding Sexual Favoritism in the Workplace.  In this posting we cited Miller vs. California Department of Corrections, whereby in office […]

  3. […] Back in May 2011, Thirty Miles asked City Hall if there was a “Love Contract” on file, w… […]

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