For many companies, holiday parties are irresistible. Business owners and executives are frequently the most enthusiastic supporters of these events, more so than employees themselves, and there is certainly nothing wrong with celebrating a productive year. The main concern with holiday office parties is that they are often laden with potential liability situations that should not be ignored. When a holiday office party is organized as a New Year’s Eve celebration, employers should keep the following concerns in mind.
1. Not Having Enough Coverage
Once an employer starts thinking about hosting a New Year’s Eve celebration for staff members, the first strategic action should be to contact their National City commercial insurance agent. If the intended party location is at the office and on premise, a standard commercial liability policy may offer some coverage, but things get more complicated when you add traditional party elements such as alcoholic beverages.
2. Creating an Environment Conducive to Harassment
A holiday office party before Christmas may be a better idea than a New Year’s Eve company celebration. The issue with New Year’s Eve parties is that they are often associated with increased alcohol consumption and debauchery, which could enable harassment situations between staff members.
3. Enforcing a Dress Code
Many employers forget about this detail when organizing office parties, and the result quite often is that some staff members show up in offensive or provocative attire. It is better to have a quiet celebration during an afternoon or evening during a half day of work at the office since employees are already following standard dress code policies.
4. Consuming Alcohol
Employers who allow drinking at office parties could be doomed from the start if they fail to remind employees they should exercise good judgement at the party. Two measures that can be taken include instructing human resources personnel to draft a policy of behavior at the party, and letting a catering service handle the beverages. The last thing any employer wants is to make liquor the highlight of the office party.
5. Drinking and Driving
Under no circumstances should an employer fail to provide transportation options for staff members who attend a holiday party where liquor is served. This would not be acceptable in the era of ridesharing. Business owners or managers should arrange transportation for the party.
6. Hosting the Party Away from the Office
One of the best ways to handle liability is to transfer it. Smart employers will find an establishment that can host a New Year’s Eve party and take on all the associated liabilities. In this case, the host should carry an adequate policy that will include the employer as an additional insured for the event. Small businesses can host their parties at bars and restaurants, while larger companies can rent banquet halls or hotel lounges with catering and transportation services.
Insurance concerns such as this can apply for any company event throughout the year. Make sure you’re adequately covered. To assess your current commercial insurance needs, reach out to American Tri-Star. In addition to commercial insurance, we also offer affordable and reliable health, home, and car insurance in National City. Please call 619-474-3900 today for a complimentary quote.