WWE's Consensual Relationship Policy Leaks, Addresses Workplace Romance

Since the revelation of the lawsuit filed by Janel Grant accusing Vince McMahon of sex trafficking and abuse back in January, many have been wondering what WWE's policy was concerning relationships within the company, and how employees/talent were protected. Though both Chief Content Officer Triple H and NXT head of creative Shawn Michaels had hinted at a policy regarding the matter, it remained unclear what that policy entailed, until now.


On Tuesday, POST Wrestling and Wrestlenomics obtained WWE's official policy regarding sexual or romantic relationships in the workplace. The policy, called the "Consensual Relationship policy," was first established back in June 2023, nearly one year after McMahon retired due to the emergence of accusations he paid hush money to cover up numerous affairs, six months after McMahon forced his way back into WWE, and seven months before the Grant lawsuit became known, forcing McMahon to resign.

Totaling three pages, the policy declares that a WWE employee "shall not exercise responsibility (instructional, evaluative, or supervisory) for any affiliated individual with whom the employee has or had a consensual relationship." The policy also discourages consensual relationships involving WWE executive members, which include any member of WWE (now TKO's) Board of Directors, CEO, President, Chief Content Officer, Chief Legal Officer, and Chief Human Resource Officer. 


An "affiliated relationships" section was also included, stating that relationships between WWE employees and independent contractors such as talent must also abide by the official policy. Guidelines stipulate that should an executive engage in a relationship, they are to disclose it to Steve Koonin, who is the lead independent director of TKO's Board of Directors.

Experts Weigh In On WWE Consensual Relationship Policy

Several within WWE noted that the policy was the first they had ever heard that addressed consensual relationships in the WWE workplace. In regards to punishment should the policy be violated, no specific consequences were stated, though the policy notes that a violation could result in disciplinary action, which could include the violator having their employment terminated.


The release of the policy prompted reactions from two experts, Fairfield University Professor of Management Dr. Lisa Mainero, and Texas A&M Director of Workplace Lawsuit Program Michael Z. Green. While Mainero wasn't entirely negative on the policy, praising the inclusion of the "affiliated relationships" section, she did take issue with it not addressing hierarchical relationships, a relationship between two employees where one is subordinate to the other.

"This is an 'okay' policy, better than most, but still inadequate," Mainiero said. 

As for Green, he felt certain language in the policy "didn't go far enough," referring to the section discouraging consensual relationships involving WWE executive members.


"'WWE strongly discourages consensual relationships involving any WWE Board Member, or executive team member such as the CEO, President, CFO, Chief Content Officer, Chief Legal Officer, or Chief Human Resources Officer,'" Green said, quoting the policy. "[I]t should say that if any such officer seeks to engage in a consensual relationship with a subordinate or does engage in a purported consensual relationship with a subordinate, the WWE can consider such action as bad judgment warranting cause for immediate termination from the executive position the person holds."