How to Avoid a Lawsuit at Your Holiday Party

Holiday parties are an annual time to come together as an office and celebrate the year’s accomplishments. To ensure this year’s festivities don’t land your company on the naughty list, follow our guide to a lighthearted and lawful celebration.

Get Input Beforehand

Before you start hanging the office mistletoe, talk with your human resources department about your party plans. Remember, these employees aren’t just there to resolve office issues; they’re trained professionals that can help you avoid a potential lawsuit. Another great way to get input on your upcoming party is to select a diverse party planning committee. The more perspectives you get, the better chances you’ll have at avoiding discrimination at the holiday party. Getting your employees involved will make them feel important and empowered to call the shots.

Be Cognizant of Your Decorations

To make sure every employee feels comfortable at your party, avoid exclusively using colors that have religious ties; e.g. red, green, and blue. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, businesses are prohibited from religious discrimination and are required to accommodate employees’ religious beliefs. Completely take religion out of the equation by incorporating a diverse range of colors, symbols, and music that are nondenominational.

Limit the Libations

Every day, 28 people in the U.S. die as a result of drunk driving crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If you’re planning on having alcohol at your holiday party, you should make safety a priority. Consider hiring a bartender to pour drinks and be in charge of cutting people off when they’ve had too much to drink. In most states, establishments can be liable for their patrons’ DUI accidents when they serve alcohol. Having boozy beverages at your party isn’t worth the potential lawsuit or safety hazard for your employees. If possible, keep your party dry and instead put an emphasis on team-building with games and prizes.

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