The holidays are a time for celebration, friends, family, and office parties. Holiday festivities are the time to forget about budget reports and let loose.
Parties are a great way to show employees your appreciation, boost company morale, and get to know each other a little better. However, sometimes, office party antics can go over the top- and you could be held liable. As your company gathers around to celebrate the year’s end, take a moment to look over these holiday liability tips.
Keep holiday customs appropriate to the workplace. Decide what parameters you want to set for your party. Is it a family affair? Will alcohol be served? Make sure your human resource policies address office parties. Provide specific examples of conduct at holiday parties that is unacceptable (For example the exchange of risqué gifts), and make sure your sexual harassment policy is clearly defined.
Alcohol. If you decide to serve alcohol, limit the amount of alcohol that will be served. Give each employee a certain number of drink tickets- once they are gone, they can purchase their own drinks. Make sure alternative transportation is provided in case someone has too much to drink.
Encourage employees to look after one another. Make sure everyone gets home safe, and encourage your employees to watch out for one another, especially if you are serving alcohol.
Disassociate the holiday function from employee jobs. Let employees know there is no business purpose for the event and attendance is not mandatory. You may even consider hosting the event off employer premises.
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Source: Legal Zoom