‘Twas the Night Before the Office Holiday Party…


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‘Twas the night before the office holiday party, when all through the venue, every last thing was prepared, right down to the menu. The drink cards were allotted, by HR with care, in hopes that a lawsuit, would never come to bear.

The HR rep’s employees were nestled, all safe in their beds, while their attorneys’ eight holiday party reminders, danced in their heads:

1. Maybe don’t serve booze, which is easier to do, if your event is a catered lunch — perhaps with significant others, too.
2. Inviting employee partners is always wise, it might spare you some hurting, because significant others being present, will prevent some naughty flirting.
3. Most companies serve alcohol, it lightens the mood, but make sure you provide non-alcoholic drinks, along with some food. Use a cash bar, or tickets, to limit their drinks. Offer rides home at no cost, so no one ends up in the clink.
4. Serve just beer and wine, and just those two, because liquor or punch, can make employers blue.
5. Hire a pro, to monitor alcohol consumption. A bartender can work, without making bad assumptions. If they see someone drunk, they can cut them off quick, and alert your managers to handle it, which should do the trick.
6. On duty! On duty! That is what you say, to a few of your managers, to avoid a doomsday. They can spot bad behavior, and watch out for trouble, and since they’ll be sober, they can intervene on the double.
7. Policies! Procedures! And standards of conduct! These are refrains that should be repeated, and no one can duck. Your workforce should know, that they should have a good time. After all, it’s a party! That is not a crime. But remind them that your rules, will still be in place, and if they cause any problems, you will be on their case.
8. Finally, it’s surprising that this needs to be said, in a world where a viral image can so quickly spread. You may laugh, roll your eyes, or think I’m insane, but there is one decoration you simply cannot obtain. For when the drinks are flowing, as you must know, there’s no doubt that we run the risk of Cupid’s Bow. That is why that I say, and I’ll say it real slow, no matter what you do, don’t hang mistletoe!

Learning these pointers, and keeping them in mind, allowed the HR team, to quickly unwind. Happy holidays to all, and our story’s complete, just make sure these reminders, don’t take a backseat.
Stephen Scott is an associate with labor and employment law firm Fisher Phillips in Portland. He may be reached at smscott@fisherphillips.com


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