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Employment Blog

Holiday Party - Celebration?

Authored by Dean R. Dietrich
Posted on November 24, 2014
Filed under Employment

Everyone is thinking about the holiday season. Many human resource professionals are wondering whether or not the company should sponsor a holiday party and what limits should be applied to such an event. The best answer is to be reasonable and to be more concerned about the safety of employees because of a potential disaster that could occur instead of worrying about liability to the company. What I mean is we need to be concerned about someone having too much fun and getting into an accident or harming someone else by driving under the influence of alcohol. This is a very sad event that may be difficult to foresee but important to be concerned about.

So what are the options and recommended practices?

  • Have a seasoned person (not company official) be the bartender;
  • Provide limited drink tickets (2 is the norm) although that will not prevent employees from giving their tickets to others;
  • Make sure you provide food of some type to help limit the impact of alcohol consumption;
  • Assign certain employees to watch over the behavior of others without serving as the “alcohol police” for the event;
  • Take bold steps if needed to insure that an employee is not driving away from the party under the influence of alcohol.

Holiday parties can be a fun event but someone needs to be mindful of what is happening at the event. Yes, there is potential for liability to the company but more importantly, there is potential for much more serious consequences such as the loss of a co-worker.