3 Tips for a Lawsuit-Free Office Party

Beth Dean 11.28.23
2023-11-28 Nextep blog - office party

Keep Your Party Pants Professional

As the year ends, and you’ve achieved feats at work that deserve a standing ovation, the holiday office party is your well-earned, much-awaited reward. 

But beware! When the festive spirit meets the allure of a bottomless drink supply, things can take a wild turn, leaving you nursing a hangover, regret, and a few cringe-worthy memories better off forgotten.

Picture this: an out-of-control employee at a company soirĂ©e, whether on a swanky rooftop or in the cozy corner of a local pub. Suddenly, the company is left holding a bag of liabilities, grappling with the aftermath of someone’s drunken bad ideas, and facing the potential for harassment claims or worse. An over-indulgent coworker might pose a real threat if they decide to hop behind the wheel after one too many.

Rest assured, we’re not advocating for snooze-fest office parties where the most exhilarating part is winning a bedazzled stapler (actually, a bedazzled stapler does sound delightful now that we think about it). The key is to keep the merriment flowing without drowning in a sea of regret.

Here are 3 ways to keep your office party from becoming a liability:

Free to Choose 

Make the party an optional affair. No strings attached, no judgment passed. No one should feel obliged to show up, and no adverse action will rain down upon those who opt out. 

Booze Balancing Act 

Keep the spirits high but the drinking in check. Make it clear that going overboard is a no-no. To keep the alcohol flow in check (and your budget intact), offer each attendee a limited number of drink tickets. You could also hire professional bartenders instead of trusting your colleagues to pour responsibly.

Escape Routes 

If you spot a colleague who’s clearly had one too many, offer them a lifeline. Arrange for alternate transportation, like a trusty taxi, to ensure everyone gets home safely. Also, serve plenty of food to fill those stomachs before the drinks take center stage. Remember the non-alcoholic options and entertainment to divert attention from the temptation of the bottle.

If you’re thirsty for more wisdom on how to throw an epic yet responsible office holiday bash, reach out to Nextep’s HR experts. They’ve got the keys to festive success. Cheers to a hangover-free holiday season!

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