How to Avoid Holiday Party Liability

While this time of year is rampant with office parties, ugly sweater contest and holiday lunches, it’s important to protect your company from liability.

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While many employees appreciate their company celebrating the holidays with office parties, luncheons, dinners, or gatherings, issues can still arise.

This is especially true for any events involving alcohol.

Even if attendance isn’t required, if an employee is injured at a company event, they may allege claims of sexual harassment, workers’ compensation, or negligence.

So how can you protect your company from liability at a holiday party?

  • Plan in advance!
    • Make sure your staff knows about any relevant policies you want followed. Send an email before the event about the dress code, sexual harassment policies, illegal drug policies, etc. Remind your employees that they should act in a professional manner.
  • Check your contracts!
    • Where are you hosting the event? If it’s at a venue, try to negotiate an indemnification clause so that they will cover actions brought by third parties.
  • Plan for incidents!
    • Have transportation arranged for employees when alcohol is being served. Also, check your insurance policies regarding events to make sure you have enough coverage if an injury occurs.

Finally, if a claim is made by one of your employees, make sure to take it seriously. Let the employee know that you are investigating it and involve your legal team to help.

Happy Holidays from Rickard & Associates!

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