Tis the Season…Office Party Edition

Bring on the holiday cheer and the holiday parties!  While you’re making your list, check it twice – for any potential liabilities. A  few simple steps can help minimize potential risk and keep your celebration on track.

Liability can arise through a variety of issues, including responsibility for an employee’s negligent acts during or after an event; and any claims arising out of dram shop (alcohol service) laws. Plus these get togethers can be ripe for sexual harassment. (Don’t cancel! Read on.)

While no one wants to put the lump of coal in a stocking, it’s best to remind your employees that alcohol is not an excuse for inappropriate, harassing, or discriminatory behavior: Company policy extends to all company-sponsored festivities. Clearly align professional etiquette with celebratory events and set expectations to reduce the risk of liability.

As a best practice, remind employees that having a good time is encouraged. Likewise, misconduct during or after the event will not be tolerated and could result in disciplinary action. We also recommend hiring professional bartenders who are trained to report anyone who’s had too much to drink, verify the age of any guest, and close the bar some time before the event ends. As always, be sure to provide plenty of nonalcoholic beverages and food.

Want to relax at your next workplace party? We can help! Contact us.