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Hans Riede, Lynn O’Brien and Christian Yingling Author Valentine’s Day Article for HR Exchange Network About Workplace Relationship Issues


Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a trio of Quarles & Brady Labor & Employment attorneys wrote an article for HR Exchange Network about considerations for human resources professionals related to two common issues: workplace relationships and sponsorship of marriage-based green cards.

In the article, Hans Riede, Lynn O’Brien and Christian Yingling – all based in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office – noted that employers should take steps now to plan for and minimize risks in these areas.

An excerpt:

What are some practices employers may implement to mitigate the risk of legal claims and negative consequences of romance in the workplace? While outright banning of workplace romance is an option, but it is difficult to enforce and detrimental to attracting and retaining professional talent.  

Less drastic options include written policies contextually prohibiting and/or limiting romantic relationships between supervisors and their subordinates, internal department members, and/or staff members on the same internal team. Special consideration should be given to creating clear guidance on relationships between supervisors and their subordinates, including but not limited to written policies prohibiting such relationships – particularly supervisors and their direct reports.   

If a foreign national employee is lucky enough to not only find a job in the United States, but also to find love with a U.S. citizen, should his employer think about supporting the costs related to marriage-based green card sponsorship? The answer may surprise you. Arguably, it’s time for some companies to do so. 

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