Tag Archive | Events

Ho Ho Holiday Event Liability

photo (3)‘Tis the holiday season.  And with the holidays, it is time for many employers to sponsor or host parties or other events.  These can boost morale and show workers that they are valued.

They can also be minefields of potential legal issues.  These can be pay, discrimination, harassment, personal injury, and any number of other issues.  But there are some steps employers can use to reduce those risks:

  • Consider having events without serving alcohol.  If alcohol is served, arrange for a limit and consider providing transportation;
  • Have a plan, agenda, timeline, or schedule of events and stick with it;
  • Provide any necessary security or support services;
  • Avoid any activities or discussion that targets certain belief patterns or groups of people.  Religious and ethnic issues around holidays are often very charged;
  • Ensure all invitations and notices state that activities are not mandatory;
  • Keep events social social and not work-related.  Scheduling away from the workplace can help;
  • Give adequate directions and information, and ensure the location is accessible;
  • Ensure that management or those in charge remain at the event until it ends;
  • Immediately investigate any claim of inappropriate conduct;
  • Plan activities that appeal to all employees to avoid feelings of being “left out” or targeted;
  • Remind employees of the company culture of respect and the expectation that employees will treat each other with respect during the event.