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Office romances can become worker's nightmare

Every year on Valentine's Day, offices smell of fresh flowers and Belgian chocolates.

But what if the person sending the flowers and chocolates works with you? Attorney Pavneet Uppal said office romances can be a nightmare for managers and human resources.

"Every single thing that happens at work after the relationship ends is now attributable to sexual harassment or retaliation," he said. "That, of course, can not only affect coworkers, but that can also create legal liability for the employer."

Uppal said some employers have asked both parties in the romance to sign a "love contract" that protects the company if the relationship turns sour and "to cut down on gossip, misunderstandings and to make sure that [the relationship] does not adversely affect your career."

An estimated 40 percent of workers have admitted to dating fellow employees and another 40 percent would consider doing so now or in the future.

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