Office holiday parties can be a blast for you and your workers. But employers shouldn’t end up on a lawyer’s “naughty” list by throwing them without considering some potential legal consequences first.
To keep your festive fete above board, here are five legal do’s and don’ts for your small business’ holiday bash:
1. Don’t Make It about One Holiday or Another.
Yes, it’s no coincidence that office holiday parties tend to kick off around December, as many employees are in eager anticipation of Christmas. But your company’s celebration should be inclusive of all employees’ beliefs and cultures.
As Bloomberg reports, you may offend some of your employees by calling it a “holiday” party and not giving full deference to anyone’s preferred religious holiday (i.e., Christmas or Hanukkah). But you’ll likely save your company a stocking full of lawsuits for religious discrimination.
2. Do Restrict Alcohol Use.
It wouldn’t be an office holiday party without spiked egg nog, right?
Ho ho no!
Mix together tense co-workers in a party atmosphere with a splash of vermouth, and you’ve likely served up a liabili-tini. Consider serving very little alcohol or no alcohol at all to keep the drunken shenanigans out of your lawyer’s office.