In planning your annual holiday party, have you considered your
obligations as an employer? A company holiday party should be fun,
but employers need to be careful about social host liability.
A "company party" is generally defined as any party
Hosted, organized and/or paid for by the employer;
Held on company property;
Held during normal working hours; or
Seen to be facilitated or condoned by the employer;
Any combination of the above.
If an event is deemed a "company party," the employer
could be held liable if injury is caused to any party participant
or a party participant harms an innocent third
party (e.g. has an accident on the way home). This is true
even if no members of "management" are
in attendance or it's not an official company party.
The keys to avoiding liability are:
Communicate them to attendees
Actually enforce them
Additional measures that are wise to take include:
Limiting the number of free alcoholic drinks offered to
Not limiting the number of cab chits
A holiday party can still be fun, while being low risk for your
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