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‘Tis the Season to Avoid Liability at Holiday Parties

12.11.15

Candice Pinares-Baez’s article “‘Tis the Season to Avoid Liability at Holiday Parties” was featured in the Daily Business Review on December 11, 2015.

It is hard to believe that the holidays are upon us again. For many of us, along with shopping and some time off to spend with family, the company holiday party is often a much anticipated part of the season. A company holiday party provides an opportunity to celebrate the end of a successful year and allows employees a positive atmosphere to unwind and enjoy time together outside of the work environment – think Secret Santa, company raffles and tons of laughs. What can go wrong? As many south Florida employers have learned the hard way, the answer to that question is “a lot.” Excessive drinking, sexual advances, off-color and inappropriate jokes, vulgar language and even arguments, fistfights and car accidents are some of the more common examples, all of which could result in legal claims against the organization. Claims could include harassment, discrimination and vicarious liability for damages. The obvious question then becomes, what should a company do to limit its legal exposure.

In the article, Candice provides the following recommendations when offering alcohol at a company holiday party:

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