‘Tis the season of busy schedules filled with family events and holiday
gatherings and fun office holiday parties! Office year-end events are
a wonderful way to show your appreciation for your staff’s hard
work and they are a great way for people to connect and relax outside
of a work setting. While these parties are usually a great time, there
are simple precautions that you as a business owner should take to ensure
a safe gathering for everyone that is free from any unwanted holiday party
1. Make sure your employees know that attendance is optional.
2. Hold your party outside of normal business hours to prevent wage and
hour claims by non-exempt employees.
3. Have your gathering somewhere other than the office.
4. Do not discuss work related issues during your gathering, or give anyone
a task to complete.
5. Offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverage options so employees do not feel
pressured to consume alcohol, or use drink tickets to avoid excessive drinking.
Hosting the event outside of normal business hours, not at the office,
and stressing the fact that it is not mandatory helps prevent workers’
compensation claims in the event an employee is injured.
In regards to alcohol, if you choose to serve it at a holiday function,
be sure to do so responsibly. Keep in mind that as an employer you may
be liable for injuries or conduct that occur due to over-consumption at
the party. Social host liability is often based on “dram shop”
laws—or state statutes that prohibit the sale of alcohol to minors
and hold distributors responsible for alcohol-related injuries.
For the most part, these laws only apply to companies in the business of
selling alcohol, such as bars or restaurants. In Florida, these laws only
apply under two circumstances: when alcohol is served to a minor and when
alcohol is served to an individual with a known alcoholic addiction.
While this list is not exhaustive, it should provide a few simple tips
to follow when planning and throwing your office holiday party. Should
you have any additional questions, contact one of our experienced, Tampa-based
personal injury attorneys.
At Darrigo, Diaz & Jimenez, we handle all types of personal injury
claims, including premise liability, workplace injuries, slip-and-falls,
and auto accidents.
Call 813.774.3341 today to schedule a free case evaluation with our highly-experienced,