With Thanksgiving over, Florida businesses are turning attention to the Christmas and holiday party or luncheon in December. This annual event is just around the corner and you (Office Manager or HR Coordinator) are probably reviewing last year’s email reminder to employees that communicate the event details, proper attire and general behavior expectations since the event will occur during non-working hours and offsite location. While everyone is looking forward to a good time, HR is thinking ahead and working to make sure the event is safe and enjoyable for all – so here are some important reminders.
- Alcohol consumption creates known risk. Employers can be held liable for employee conduct at company events if the event is considered part of their employment. All parties should be voluntary, not mandatory. Always designate several key employees to keep eyes open at the event, and be prepared to take action is needed.
- Having the event at an eating and drinking establishment is wise because the professionals are now controlling the distribution of alcohol – and not Andy, the good time Shipping Manager. Serve food if alcohol is being served, Employees should avoid serving alcohol at the event.
- If overnight accommodations are not available, make sure the company shares options for Uber. Lyft or taxis for employees that have too much to drink. Often companies include the cost of safe travel as a company perk at this event.
- The company invitation email or memo reminders employees about proper conduct and attire so that in case Randy from Accounting gets a little crazy, the company can show it took reasonable action to protect attendees. This is even more important if the company also invites key customers or vendors to the event.
- If someone does not celebrate Christmas, for personal or religious reasons, there should be no penalty for not attending the party.
- Check with your general liability insurance carrier for other recommendations for your Christmas or holiday party. To minimize liability arising out of the event provider’s negligence, check that the event provider carries General Liability insurance. Check out some additional tips from Hartford Insurance.
With some pre-planning, your event will be successful, enjoyable and without incident. Cheers!