The yearly holiday office party could be joyous, festive, memorable. . .and poisonous to the fiscal health of the business. However, without careful preparation, you could end up getting sued for what happens in your party. . .or what happens AFTER your party.
I am setting”office party” as an employer-sponsored party, including parties where business partners, employee spouses or”significant others” are invited. As an insurance adjuster, I understand many vendors, such as accounting firms and fire restoration contractors, that encourage adjusters and insurance company staff to their own parties. The adult beverages flow openly at those parties.
If you’re hosting a business holiday party, here are Best Tips to keep you from a lawsuit.
Before holiday celebrations, ship out interoffice memos, do bulletin board postings or have meetings where you advocate moderation, and gently explain the measures which will be required to guarantee a safe and productive party. It could be a good idea to distribute your party program in writing to all employees and invitees.
Schedule the party on a weekend or after regular business hours.
Hold the party for an offsite location. Even better if problems arise away from the business premises.
Don’t need workers to attend as a condition of their job.
Do not take attendance at the party.
Make the party a family event, such as spouses and children.
Assign certain supervisors or managers as”hosts” to oversee the event.
Do not pay for drinks. Guest will drink less if they must pay for drinks themselves.
If you feel you have to furnish alcoholic beverages, think about a beverage voucher system to restrict the amount of beverages served. Or, serve alcohol for just a brief period.
Do not sell alcoholic drinks at the party. No cash bar organized by the employer. If your party is at a location that has its own liquor license, and guests buy drinks at their bar, so be it. But you still must make sure they arrive home safely.
alcohol delivery london by 24hrdrinks.co.uk or caterer to serve alcohol. He will know better when to say’No’ to a guest who has had one too many. The hired bartender must have his own liability insurance and supply you a copy of his insurance policy certification BEFORE the party. Instruct the bartender/caterer to inform an appropriate event supervisor if he finds somebody who has had a lot to drink.
Serve plenty of non-alcoholic beverages: water, sodas, juices, coffee, tea.
Arrange transportation for drunk employees. Call a cab, use designated drivers, or offer discounted or free rooms if the party is held at a resort.
Remember that even in the event that you carry adequate insurance, called”host liquor liability insurance policy,” it will likely not afford coverage to your business if alcoholic beverages are being sold at your party. You need to purchase additional liquor liability insurance policy prior to the party.
13.5 Another huge potential problem is dealing with a sexual harassment lawsuit due to an incident in the party. Alcohol lowers inhibitions, and you might have an employee who files a grievance or litigation against another employee and the enterprise. . .or even against the other guest. .
Mention this potential problem to your party”hosts,” and have them be alert to employees or guests who are”overly friendly” with different people at the party.
Last, be sure you investigate ALL complaints. If you merely ignore or shrug off complaints, your organization could be in worse trouble than if you simply deal with this.
In closing, do not look at this post as a”buzz kill.” Consider that I’m the lighthouse on the coast, alerting you to the rocks and shoals. Prevent them, along with your”voyage” will be a happy one!
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