Dos and Don’ts for a Successful Office Summer Party

Thinking of hosting a summer party for your employees? This can be a great way to build morale and team spirit. However, given the potential liability facing employers, care should be exercised. A few precautionary measures can go a long way towards limiting your risks.
With that in mind, here are a few dos and don’ts to help employers host a successful (and liability-free) summer party:

1.  DO... remind employees that the party is a work event and that all workplace policies must be followed, including policies against workplace harassment and violence.

2.  DON’T... host the event in a non-accessible location. Ensure all employees are accommodated and can participate equally.

3.  DO... ensure food and non-alcoholic beverages will be served whenever alcohol will be provided.

4.  DON’T... serve alcohol without proper training. If alcohol will be present, ensure all servers are Smart Serve certified.

5.  DO... ensure supervisors are aware that they are expected to set an example and monitor/“cut off” employees who have overindulged.

6.  DON’T... host your party at the office. Holding the party off-site can reduce (but not eliminate) employer liability.

7.  DO... consider having a family-friendly or an alcohol-free daytime event.

8.  DON’T... have an open bar. Use drink tickets or a cash bar to limit alcohol intake.

9.  DO... follow your policies and procedures in the event of any incidents, such as an employee injury or sexual harassment report.

10.  DON’T... let employees drive under the influence. Provide transportation or taxi chits to reduce the risk of employees driving while impaired.