—Gail Lorenzen, CHBC, The Sage Group Yellow light: Seek legal advice It is important to have legal advice before terminating employment.
In a client group, I had to be the one to discuss with a physician that he was placing the entire corporation at risk by continuing the relationship.
Corporations make the parties involved sign a very detailed waiver that prohibits either party from filing sexual harassment claims or wrongful termination.
Corporations usually allow office romances now, as long as there is not a supervisory relationship between the parties, and sometimes only if they work in different departments.
—Debra Phairas, president, Practice & Liability Consultants Green light: Difficult but delightful I know this is a most difficult issue.
Because I have been married to the founding physician in our group of seven for over 30 years, I really cannot be objective, but I feel we have worked out the difficulties, mostly because I am harder on my husband than the other physicians.
In healthcare, it may be even more, given that most medical practices are less formal.
Additionally, results have proven that a romance between a physician and an employee hurts practice productivity and may mean significant financial risk if there is a contentious breakup.
Office romances should be covered in the employee handbook (see sample policy below), which should state that the employee discovered in an office romance will have to resign.
If it is a physician, he or she needs to be informed how detrimental this romance is to the practice.