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Does Marriage Make Good Business? Examining the Notion of Employer Endorsement of Marriage

24 Pages Posted: 30 May 2012  

Lynne Marie Kohm

Regent University - School of Law

Date Written: May 30, 2004


Is there anything wrong with promoting marriage? Is there anything right about promoting marriage? Should an employer endorse marriage? Ought an employer meddle in an employee's private life and marital status? Can companies encourage marriage from within? This article will deal with these important and timely questions. Part I sets out, in detail, the reasons why marriage ought to be promoted, discussing the most recent medical and social science data on the topic, as well as reviewing government support for marriage initiatives. Part II discusses whether it is legal for any employer to promote marriage, setting out the federal guidelines, statutory framework, and case law on marital status discrimination. This section clearly details and distinguishes the case law on marital status discrimination, revealing that marital status discrimination is not the same as endorsing or promoting marriage. Part III questions whether an employer can be concerned about the private lives of its employees. This section discusses concerns about fostering a sexually charged workplace and the problems surrounding a sexually charged corporate culture. Setting forth the corporate effects of fraternization, sexual promiscuity, divorce and cohabitation, this section reveals why a company may want to promote marriage. Finally, Part IV sets forth the case for employer endorsement of marriage. This section offers legal guidelines and suggestions that promote productivity among employees by encouraging them to enter into healthy relationships and healthy marriages. Ultimately, employer endorsement of marriage yields happy and productive employees.

Keywords: marriage, employee, employment, cohabitation, divorce, marital status, discrimination

JEL Classification: A13, J18, K10

Suggested Citation

Kohm, Lynne Marie, Does Marriage Make Good Business? Examining the Notion of Employer Endorsement of Marriage (May 30, 2004). Whittier Law Review, Vol. 25, p. 563, 2004. Available at SSRN:

Lynne Marie Kohm (Contact Author)

Regent University - School of Law ( email )

1000 Regent University Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
United States


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