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The Recession And The Office Party

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By Minara El-Rahman on December 23, 2009 11:50 AM

While we have written about small businesses worrying whether or not to dole out holiday bonuses, it seems that CNN is reporting that most employers are not planning to cut out the office party from their roster of holiday festivities. The office party is seen as a way to retain employees when the economy starts looking better.

The office party is just what small business owners need to have in order to show that they appreciate workers and to boost up worker morale. According to CNN, a survey by Chartered Management Institute (CMI) shows that two thirds (65 percent) of managers across the UK believe that Christmas parties are important in helping to improve employee morale.

The same managers surveyed believed that the office party is an important way to recognize the hard work that employees put into the company.

While this may be true, it is important to ensure that you avoid a workplace lawsuit surrounding sexual harassment at the office party, or a workplace lawsuit about actions of your employees who are intoxicated because of the office party.

Here are some important tips to remember in order to prevent a workplace lawsuit in the New Year:

  • Make sure employees get a memo about inappropriate comments and behavior. That could stave off potential sexual harassment lawsuits
  • Make sure that all employees are aware of your sexual harassment policies
  • Limit alcohol being served, or don't serve any alcohol at all. You could be considered as a business host and open to business host liability
  • Make sure your employees have a safe way to get home if you serve alcohol
  • Have a dress code. It can prevent some unwanted potential harassment lawsuits
  • Skip the mistletoe. It just does not work for an office party.

We hope that your office party is fun, festive and legal. For more information, please visit our Related Resources links.

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