The Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday (14/12) that coworkers cannot be prohibited from getting married. (Antara Photo/Sigid Kurniawan)

Court Allows Marriage Between Coworkers


DECEMBER 14, 2017

Jakarta. A clause in the 2003 Labor Law that allowed employers to prohibit marriages between coworkers was dropped by the Constitutional Court on Thursday (14/12).

The decision should come as a relief, since many had to resign or were fired if they wanted to bring their office romance to the next level.

The court ruled that what brings people together is "fate, which cannot be planned or avoided," and although human rights in some situations can be temporarily suspended, this is not the case and the clause is unconstitutional.

Under the labor law, a company can discharge an employee who marries a coworker if their contracts forbid it. The move is meant to prevent conflicts of interest.

The court, however, saw it as unfair.

"Workers often are in a weaker position, because they need the job," the court said the ruling.

It also dismissed an argument by businesses that having a married couple working together can cause moral hazards in a company's operations.

"These [hazards] should be prevented by stricter company regulations," the court said.

The problem with the labor law reached the court's attention in January, after eight employees of state utility company Perusahaan Listrik Negara requested judicial review of the law, arguing that they were entitled to marry the person of their choice.

One of the plaintiffs, Yekti Kurniasih, 28, was fired from PLN in 2014 for deciding to marry a coworker.