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How To Avoid A Legal Hangover After Your Holiday Party


Andria Ryan was quoted on Law360 on December 12, 2014. The article “How To Avoid A Legal Hangover After Your Holiday Party” provided steps on how to mitigate risks when throwing a holiday party in the workplace.

Andria said, “Bad behavior happens at work a lot, but parties and after-hours events tend to bring out out the worst in a lot of folks.”

There are a variety of steps employers can take to keep alcohol consumption down, the most obvious of which would be having a party that's entirely free of any alcoholic beverages. Most of my clients don't go that far, Andria said, but noted that some companies hold family events where the presence of spouses and children can stymie rowdy behavior.

“You want to avoid the church basement and avoid the adult entertainment spot,” Andria said. She noted that employers should consider the company's track record with employee celebrations, and let history inform how the company goes about setting the tone.   

The employer's human resources team and management-level workers should “gently intervene” if things are going off the rails, said Andria.

But while being inclusive is necessary, requiring attendance is a bad idea, lawyers said. Employers need to be careful not only to avoid explicitly mandating attendance but also implicit pressure to show up, Andria said.  

This article appeared in Law360 on December 12, 2014.


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