Having a holiday party for your employees and their loved ones can be a great way to boost morale and show them you care. But when those holiday parties get out of control, you may wonder how much responsibility lays on you the employer in terms of liability. There are some steps you can take to help reduce your liability, but the bottom line is to use common sense when planning your company party. Here are some tips:
- Do not have the party during business hours or when your employees are normally on a shift. It can confuse whether or not the party is a function of work.
- Do not have your party at the office. Having the party at a separate venue alleviates the confusion of whether or not it is a work function. Plus, the venue will have its own liability insurance as well.
- Make sure your employees know the party is not a mandatory work event. Let them know it is purely optional to attend.
- Limit alcohol. Allowing employees to make their own drinks can cause things to get out of hand quite easily. Have a designated bartender who can limit the drinks everyone is enjoying.
- Pay attention to possibility of sexual harassment. Allowing employees the option to bring guests can help to make employees less likely to make any advances to coworkers. Don’t hang any mistletoe or have any possibly sexually oriented games or events planned for the party.
- Do not theme the party based on a holiday that may not be celebrated by everyone. You will want to include everyone. Simply leaving the party as an “End of the Year” celebration would be appropriate. Keep decorations neutral to keep from offending anyone who has been invited.
Call us for more details on how to keep your liability at a minimum during your holiday party. And have a great time!