Legal Holiday Tips - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Legal Holiday Tips

Sandra Zisckind

It is that time of the year again, time for fun Holiday parties and letting loose. Unfortunately, involving alcohol and letting loose is often a recipe for disaster. Employers, you can be responsible for your employee’s bad behavior as any holiday party can be construed as part of “office hours”. Employees, your employers are watching and you can be fired for your conduct even if you are not in the technical office.

Here are some things you NEED to know before your holiday party:

  1. Alcohol- Either do not serve alcohol at all or ensure that everyone has a ride home. Give out taxi chits and insist that anyone that wants to drink is not driving home that night. For the employees that live far away, arrange a hotel room. Also try to limit the alcohol. Open bars are a recipe for disaster.
  2. Sexual Harassment- When alcohol is served inevitably people get more comfortable and can be more “affectionate”. This may not be well received by anyone. Once again employers you are responsible employees conduct even at a party. Alternatively, consider inviting spouses or significant others, nothing will keep people in line better than having their spouse with them. Do not put up mistletoes, it is not a necessary decoration and it invites bad behavior.
  3. Food- If you are providing alcohol, definitely provide food! Alcohol on an empty stomach is not a good thing.
  4. Decorations- Make sure your decorations are safe. I know this sounds trite, but it is an insurance issue. Make sure there is nothing flammable or has the potential to be dangerous. You do not want to start a fire or cause an injury.
  5. Gifts- I know a lot of people like “secret santas”, I do. But remember this is not a time to be overly creative and offend people. Remind your staff that this is not the time for social commentary. Gifts should be tasteful and not provocative.
  6. Dress- I am firm believer that everyone should look nice but a dress code should still apply for work functions.

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