Seasonal Slush and the Office Party

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Another update from the HR jungle….

Patricia likes to offer plenty of perks to her employees, including free coffee and tea, catered lunches each quarter, a pool table and a workout room. There’s only one perk that concerns Patricia: the office holiday party. She can’t afford a repeat of last year’s fiasco.

Last year some employees enjoyed the wassail and eggnog recipes a little too much. One employee filed a worker comp claim after she fell and broke her arm while trying to dance on the pool table. Another employee fixated on a colleague’s smile and made a highly improper suggestion of how they could spend the rest of the evening. A couple of designated drivers slipped some rum in their cokes and she had to chase them across the parking lot to confiscate their car keys.

Patricia wants her employees to enjoy the season, but there’s a limit to what she can tolerate and what her insurance will cover.

What options are available to Patricia?

  1. She can cancel the office holiday party based on last year’s excesses.
  2. She can try to limit her company’s liability by requiring all attendees to sign a waiver of liability before attending the party. (She should consult an attorney about this option).
  3. She can build in safeguards, such as limiting the number of drinks allowed to each attendee or holding the event at a hotel and reserving rooms for those who over indulge.

Has your company faced similar problems and struggled for a solution? Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff when the policies are implemented.

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