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Checkin’ It Twice: Things for Employers to Consider as We Celebrate the Season

December 15, 2022

The holiday season is in full swing, and what better way to celebrate the joyous season than with a festive soiree, right?  In many cases, this is the first time in a couple of years that employees are getting together for an in-person gathering.  Some employees may be ready to reconnect and cut loose.  So, this is an opportune time for a quick “refresher” on things employers should keep in mind to help keep all holiday parties ‘holly and jolly,’ and free from Grinchy legal issues.

Too much ‘Holiday Spirit?’
It’s important to remember that employment laws don’t take a break for the holidays.  A holiday party can be a great way to celebrate another year gone by and build comradery, but employers should remember, and remind their employees, that company policies still apply.  This includes, of course, policies against discrimination and discriminatory harassment.  And, with many employers choosing to serve alcohol at holiday functions, as you may guess, this could increase the odds that things could go sideways.  If the party gets too rowdy, or if a flirtation progresses into an inappropriate sexual advance, you may soon have a whole host of issues on your hands, ranging from the obvious sexual harassment claim to other issues, like workers’ comp claims, or liability to a third-party for damages caused by one of your merrymaking employees.

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Austin W. Wolfe

Conner Porterfield

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Labor and Employment