Member Insights by Coffman Legal LLC
The holidays can mean many things to many people. For some, it’s a time to relax and enjoy time with family and friends. For others, it’s stressful and hectic trying to work out travel plans and Holiday events. Whatever your stance on the holidays, one definite constant is the inevitable company holiday party. While it can be fun to get together with coworkers outside of the office, there are some definite do’s and don’ts when it comes to etiquette and behavior. Below are some helpful tips to make sure everyone stays safe and has a great time.
DO serve alcohol responsibly.
At an office holiday party or elsewhere, the overconsumption of alcohol can be dangerous in multiple ways. For one, it puts office members at risk for sexual harassment, or even assault. Alcohol notoriously clouds judgement, and can lead to potentially legal issues. Such a situation could affect the wellbeing of an Employee and could also leave an employer liable.
In addition to potential harassment, any level of consumption could be fatal if an employee, who has had a few too many drinks, drives home and gets into an accident that injures themselves or someone else. Again, such a situation could also leave an employer liable.
In order to avoid these scenarios, it’s best to better control the amount of alcohol served. To do so, try distributing drink tickets, serving drinks for only the first half of the party, or limiting the amount of alcohol served in general.
If you are a manager DO speak with employees about expectations of behavior.
Any employment lawyer would tell you it’s a good idea to take preventative action and address potential negative situations before the party. Relay to employees the company’s expectations of their behavior. Make it clear that, although it is a social event, company rules and policies still apply. It’s also a good idea to explicitly remind employees of the company’s zero tolerance policy surrounding discrimination or harassment. As a supervisory employee at the company holiday party, make sure to be a role model for the type of behavior and conduct you expect from employees.
DON’T make attendance mandatory
By making attendance mandatory, and perhaps inviting clients as well, you may have to compensate employees for their time. By making the party mandatory or for the benefit of the company, employee compensation might be necessary.
DO accommodate for different belief systems.
At a company holiday party and during the holiday season, make sure to recognize different religions and belief systems. In this situation, it’s best to stay away from particular customs of one religion or another. To accommodate for these differences, have an item or a decoration from various religious holidays or just adorn the party space with neutral, unaffiliated decorations.
Read The Do’s and Don’ts of Company Holiday Parties on Columbus Chamber of Commerce.
This post first appeared on Columbus Chamber Of Commerce | Columbus Small Busi, please read the originial post: here