Holiday season is upon us and the calendar is already peppered
with work-related social events. Many organizations will hold a
party for staff. Some employees will be invited to other
companies' events too. Many people will attend private
functions and gatherings. Most of these celebratory lunches,
dinners and dances contain a common hazard: alcohol.
Organizations hosting events can become liable as "social
hosts" for the havoc caused by guests who over-indulge and
then have car accidents. Experienced drinkers will find they
can't consume as much as they thought; inexperienced drinkers
will find out how easy it is to get drunk. Even if they never
drive, people can do or say things under the influence that they
(and possibly their employer) will regret on Monday.
Aside from being the right thing to do, managing alcohol
consumption is also the smart way to minimize risks. This year, as
in the past, we urge employers to take some common sense measures
to protect their people from having "too happy" a holiday
Hold the event at a licensed facility which has insurance, such
as a hotel or restaurant.
If possible, let employees bring their spouses or a friend (the
"plus one"). What it costs you in an extra dinner may
save you a great deal more.
Limit the number of free drinks provided to people. You might
transition to a cash bar after dinner, for example.
Try to deter "ticket sharing", where drinkers collect
unused drink tickets from others so they can really load up.
Where there is booze, make sure there is food.
Ensure there is a large supply of non-alcoholic drinks –
they often run out. Make them prominently available later in the
Issue a customary reminder to people about being careful.
Encourage or arrange for designated drivers among party-goers
and reward this.
Provide cab chits – make it easy to
get home safe.
Share information about free ride services in your
Consider offering accomodations or negotiating a reduced-rate
hotel price for your staff.
Tell the bar or servers not to over-serve – it's the
law in many jurisdictions.
Ask everyone to keep an eye out for intoxicated colleagues, so
that they might intervene or alert a manager if someone under the
influence is about to get in their car.
If your people are attending a client or supplier holiday
party, repeat safety reminders and push hard to ensure they travel
by cab or with a designated driver.
Everyone at your workplace has at least one reason to get home
safe and sound. Make sure they do.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
The prospect of an internal investigation raises many thorny issues. This presentation will canvass some of the potential triggering events, and discuss how to structure an investigation, retain forensic assistance and manage the inevitable ethical issues that will arise.
From the boardroom to the shop floor, effective organizations recognize the value of having a diverse workplace. This presentation will explore effective strategies to promote diversity, defeat bias and encourage a broader community outlook.
Staying local but going global presents its challenges. Gowling WLG lawyers offer an international roundtable on doing business in the U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia. This three-hour session will videoconference in lawyers from around the world to discuss business and intellectual property hurdles.
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
A former teacher at Bodwell High School has learned a valuable lesson from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal— it is not discriminatory for an employer to offer child-related benefits to only employees with children.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).