The law office of Robert A. Tandy, LLC

‘Tis The Season To Get Sued

‘Tis The Season To Get Sued
11 Nov 2009 Uncategorized

‘Tis The Season To Get Sued

The Office Holiday Party is an HR manager’s nightmare and a Plaintiff’s lawyer’s dream. Despite the risks involved, companies hold holiday parties each December and receive demand letters from their employees’ attorneys each January. Here are some helpful hints to reduce your Company’s liability this season:

  • Have policies in place relating to harassment, discrimination and retaliation and conduct training (if it was not already conducted) about discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Advise employees that the holiday party is a work event (an extension of the work environment) and they should behave accordingly.
  • If at all possible, don’t serve alcohol. If you do serve alcohol, make non-alcoholic beverages readily available. Additionally, try to keep the free booze to a minimum and only serve beer and wine. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment. Consider a taxi service for employees in attendance.
  • Invite spouses and/or partners (opposite and same sex). Your employees are less likely to engage in inappropriate behavior with their spouse/partner present.
  • Do not organize after-party outings or suggest going to another location to “keep the party going.”
  • If you have a band/DJ, do not encourage dancing, especially where spouses/partners are not invited.
  • Do not allow for “Secret Santa” or “Grab Bag Gift Exchanges”
  • Consider purchasing Employment Practices Liability Insurance.

If you have any questions or seek additional information on how to limit your Company’s liability this holiday season contact Robert Tandy at (201) 474-7103.

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