Saturday, December 10, 2016

Protect Yourself from Law Suits from Your Holiday Party This Year

     Holiday gatherings are supposed to be a time to build the morale for those who don’t get to spend time on a social basis.  Their purpose is to encourage people who don't normally socialize with colleagues to enjoy themselves and talk about things other than work.   These parties are usually a lot of fun unless someone manages to ruin it by getting out of hand by too much of a good thing.  This is where the party can get out of hand and wind you up at the wrong end of a nasty suit.   Here are some ways to help you keep out of trouble without having to scrap your holiday party.  These apply whether you are having a company party or just a gathering of friends at your house. 

You Don't Need This Guy at the Party
     First and most important most important is to have a good handle on the amount of booze available to those attending.  Diminished capacity of a party goer from overdrinking is not a defense to claims of harassment or assault and that hosts could ultimately be held responsible because they created the environment for that conduct to take place.  It is after all your place and your responsibility to control the behavior of the people that you have invited.    You shouldn't have an open bar with unlimited drinks at any of your holiday parties.  Limit the drink menu and to make sure to have one person to pour and serve the booze, preferably someone that is not a guest of the party.

Give up Your Keys if You are Drinking
     Getting people back home after the party is the next consideration.  In to many cases, people will leave the party and drive home after imbibing way too much.    Have cars and taxis available to make sure that those who have had too much to drink get home safely.

Can't Wait to see This Party on You Tube
     In today's world of social media, smartphones are always present and people will always be taking pictures and videos of moments they think are funny, particularly if somebody starts acting up at the party.  Today these holiday parties are no longer a private party, but rather an open party.  Party goers should be reminded of basic ground rules before posting or sharing any scenes from a holiday party.   The old days of what goes on at the party stays at the party are long gone and there are expectations of privacy when you are hosting a holiday party.

     It is always important to remember when you get a group of people together, not everyone has the same values and opinions.  It's not appropriate in the general society and not appropriate at a holiday party to belittle or treat other guests with disrespect.   It is never easy to keep everything under complete control at a holiday party, but paying attention to what is happening at the party that you are hosting will limit the chances of a problem that could wind up with you in an ugly law suit at the end of the night.

     Here is to a wonderful season of holiday parties and the safety and happy conclusion to what are supposed to be happy events.