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办公室恋情关不关老板的事

2014-01-21    来源:fortunechina    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

公司要求彼此约会的同事签署“丘比特协议”,并不是因为公司要多管闲事,而是为了避免吃官司。因为自从千禧一代进入职场之后,办公室里的感情状态已经变得前所未有的开放与混乱,由此给管理层带来的挑战也层出不穷。

Dear Annie: I will be a senior in the fall and just started a summer internship at a major financial services company, and something has come up that seems strange to me. 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."

亲爱的安妮:今年秋年,我就要进入大学四年级,最近在一家大型金融服务类公司开始暑期实习。可我在这里经历了一件奇怪的事情。一名人力资源部门经理把我叫进她的办公室,然后给我一份文件让我签字,上面写着(还有其他内容)我和男朋友的关系是“自愿的”。

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? Having to sign this agreement (which my boyfriend also signed) seems kind of intrusive, doesn't it? What do you think?

我选择这份实习工作的首要原因就是因为,我男朋友(去年毕业)现在正在这里工作。我们认为,两个人能在同一家公司过这个夏天简直太棒了,虽然我们在不同的部门。但我们是情侣关系关公司什么事?签这样的协议让我感觉受到了干扰。您怎么看?

-- Wondering on Wall Street

——华尔街的疑惑者

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. (I know, that probably strikes you as wildly unlikely, but it's been known to happen.)

亲爱的疑惑者:人力资源部竟然没有向你解释这件事,这令我有点意外,不过公司的做法是在避免可能发生的性骚扰诉讼。你所签署的文件有时候被称作“丘比特协议”或“爱情协议”,其中肯定清楚说明了公司有关性骚扰的政策,包括当你们的恋爱关系出现问题,或者比如你男朋友开始在工作中骚扰你或威胁让你被炒鱿鱼时,你可以向谁求助。(我知道你肯定认为这样的事情是不可能发生的,但现实中的确发生过此类事件。)

Asking you to confirm in writing that the relationship is voluntary gives the company a defense later on if you try to sue on the grounds that you were coerced or intimidated into accepting your boyfriend's amorous advances. "But a 'cupid contract' is partly for your own protection as well," notes Merry Campbell, co-chair of the employment law practice at Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker in Washington, D.C. "The agreement should indicate to you that, if the romance ends badly, it won't affect your position at work, and you have the right to bring any repercussions -- for example, retaliation on your boyfriend's part -- to management's attention."

公司要求你书面确认你与男朋友的关系纯属自愿,这样一来,如果日后你试图以自己受到胁迫或恫吓才接受男朋友的求爱为理由提出诉讼,公司可以有辩护的证据。不过,玛丽•坎贝尔认为:“‘丘比特协议’很大程度上也是对你自身的保护。这份协议应该向你说明,如果恋爱关系出现糟糕的结局,并不会影响你在工作中的位置,你有权让管理层注意到关系结束所带来的任何影响——比如男朋友的报复等。”坎贝尔是华盛顿特区Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker律师事务所的联席主席,该律所主要办理雇佣法案件。

All this talk of contracts and lawsuits might come as a shock to anyone too young to remember a rash of high-profile sexual harassment suits in the '90s -- not to mention a few more recent ones, like the 2011 case where a jury awarded $10.6 million to a Kansas City employee of UBS Financial Services whose supervisor had harassed her.

对于像你这样的年轻人来说,关于合同和诉讼的话题可能会让你们感到震惊,因为你们或许不记得上世纪90年代一大批备受关注的性骚扰案——更不用说最近的一些案件,比如2011年,陪审团判定,瑞银金融服务公司(UBS Financial Services)需向一名受到上司性骚扰的堪萨斯城员工赔偿1,060万美元。

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. Consider: 84% of 18-to-29-year-olds say they'd date a coworker, versus 36% of Gen Xers (ages 30 to 45) and only 29% of Boomers (45-65). Almost three-quarters of millennials (71%) "see a workplace romance as having positive effects such as improved performance and morale," the report adds.

事实上,工作生活与福利咨询公司Workplace Options最新进行的调查显示,天真的千禧一代全然不知办公室里的两性关系会变得多么污秽和肮脏。18至29岁的年轻人中,有84%表示他们会与同事约会,而30至45岁的X一代为36%,婴儿潮一代(45至65岁)则仅有29%。报告还显示,约有四分之三(71%)的千禧一代认为“办公室恋情会产生积极的影响,比如提升工作表现,鼓舞士气等。”
 
In some corporate cultures, that may be true. "It really varies a lot from one company to another," Campbell observes. "In some cultures, half the employees are dating, or married to, the other half and it's not a problem -- at least not yet." In many other companies, though, office romances are strongly discouraged, or even prohibited.

在有些企业文化中,办公室恋情或许能有积极的影响。但坎贝尔认为:“公司与公司之间差别很大。在有些公司文化中,有一半员工正在与另外一半员工约会,或已经结成夫妻,所以办公室恋情不是问题——至少现在还不是问题。”但在其他许多公司当中,办公室恋情遭到强烈反对,甚至被严令禁止。

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.

整个千禧一代中,认为与上司约会不是什么问题的人所占的比例是其他所有年龄段的三倍以上,而且Workplace Options的研究发现:40%的千禧一代愿意与老板发生关系,而更年长的员工中,这一比例仅有12%。这对于雇主(和他们的律师)来说可绝对不是好兆头。

"There is a lot of potential liability if one party in a relationship reports to the other," Campbell says. "One concern is, what about the people who are not in the relationship? Employers are responsible for making sure there is no perceived, or actual, favoritism" -- where, for example, the boss' sweetie gets better assignments than everybody else.

坎贝尔说:“如果关系中的一方与另一方是上下级,它会产生许多潜在的责任。其中的一个担忧是,两人关系之外的其他人该怎么办?雇主必须确保,不会出现任何被感知的或实际发生的偏袒,”比如老板的情人能得到比其他人更好的差事。

It's a big reason why some companies have a policy of separating the lovebirds, either by moving one of them to a different part of the firm or, if that's not possible, asking one or the other to resign. "That's a best practice, not a legal requirement," Campbell notes. "But it does minimize the company's legal liability."

这也是许多公司不得不棒打鸳鸯散的主要原因。许多公司会将其中一人调往不同的部门,如果这种办法行不通,则会要求其中一人辞职。坎贝尔称:“这是最好的做法,虽然不是法律规定。这样确实能够将公司的法律责任降到最低。”

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 quid pro quo sexual harassment taking place." That's the kind where a boss tells an underling, for example, "You can have a raise if you sleep with me."

她补充道,如果是上司和下属发生关系,丘比特协议中声明这种关系是自愿的条款就变得尤为重要,因为从法律角度:“这个条款从一开始就明确了没有发生存在补偿条件的性骚扰。”所谓的补偿条件,比如有上司对下属说:“跟我上床,我就给你涨工资。”

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.

当然,这并不适合你和你男朋友——但我敢打赌,这个话题比你想象的更加复杂。考虑到美好的办公室恋情最后可能变得异常丑陋,昔日恋人甚至可能对簿公堂,签署一份丘比特协议也就没什么大惊小怪的了。

Talkback: Have you ever been involved with a coworker, or a boss? If so, what effect (if any) did it have on your job, or your career? Leave a comment below.

反馈:你是否曾与同事或上司发生过关系?如果有,这种关系对你的工作或职业造成了什么影响(如果有影响的话)?欢迎评论。(财富中文网)



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