In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

In House Counsel: 3 Tips to Get a Jump on the Holidays

If you have general counsel duties on your in-house lawyering plate, you may want to consider getting a jump on your holiday season duties. Every year, without fail, the holiday season seems to creep up earlier and earlier, and as such, so do your duties of reminding employees about, and ensuring compliance with, certain policies.

While summer might just be ending, it's actually a good time to review the upcoming holiday season's legal issues. If policies need to change due to recent changes in the law, or around the business, by reviewing your holiday policies at the end of summer, you'll have much more time to push through those necessary changes.

Here are three tips on holiday season corporate legal issues you may want to get a jump on.

1. It's Time to Remind Everyone of Your Corporate Gift Policies

While it's often easier to ask forgiveness than permission, this doesn't really apply when it comes to employees and officers giving and receiving of gifts. This can get really messy and result in tax liability or worse. Making sure your company's gifting policies are known well in advance of the holiday season is advisable.

2. Balancing Benefits and Risks With Seasonal Employees

If your company operates brick and mortar stores, or does direct to consumer deliveries, you probably need to hire seasonal help for the holidays (particularly if you allow employees to take time off during this time of year). Reviewing your anticipated seasonal employment needs early on can help you be better prepared when the holiday season actually rolls around.

3. Don't Let Religious Holidays Get Your Company Sued

Having a diverse workforce is a good thing. However, if you are not aware of the dates of religious holidays coming up this season, like when Hanukah will be, you can potentially be exposing your company to liability. Unlike a normal vacation request, when an employee requests time off to celebrate a religious holiday, denying that employee the time off can lead to a discrimination complaint.

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