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How To Hold A Holiday Party Without Inviting Legal Hassles


Jennifer Sandberg was quoted in Law360 on December 2, 2015. The article “How To Hold A Holiday Party Without Inviting Legal Hassles” discussed how holiday parties are a time-honored tradition for many companies, but such celebrations could invite bias and harassment claims, in addition to other possible legal issues.

Jennifer said inaction is almost always the biggest problem.

“Literally anybody with any supervisory authority ought to be looking around to see how things are going,” Jennifer said, “and if somebody says or does something that violates policy, deal with it."

Some cab companies and app-based firms such as Uber offer prepaid packages so event organizers can offer party attendees rides conveniently, she noted.

One way to mitigate any perception that any given religious holiday or celebration is favored is to have multiple celebrations a year, so the focus is not on just Christmas or another holiday, Jennifer said.

“You’ll have a workplace where people are happy to have a party and be together,” she said.

But if the party is of the end-of-year variety, employers could promote the spirit of inclusion by picking a diverse group to be a part of the event-planning committee, she said.

There are also instances that might seem mandatory even if they aren’t explicitly — such as having a celebration during lunch break or at some other time during regular work hours — that could still be seen as compensable time, Jennifer said.

To read the full article, please visit Law360.


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