As we enter office holiday party season, it is important for employers to consider potential issues related to such events.
Employers should think about event timing to be as inclusive as possible, evaluate whether alcohol will be served, and be sure to compensate employees for their time if attendance is required.
Attendance should be optional. If you anticipate grumbling and want to encourage employees to attend an after-hours party, consider inviting spouses and/or family members. But don’t pressure employees to attend. Employers should be mindful that employees have diverse religious and cultural backgrounds that may impact whether and how they choose to celebrate holidays. An employee may have a legally protected reason for not attending, such as practicing a religion that does not celebrate the occasion.
It is also recommended that employers review their employee handbooks to ensure they are up to date and have been recently circulated to employees.
For more details on what to consider when planning a company holiday gathering, please click here.
The information included in this blog post originally appeared in an article from JD Supra on December 3, 2018, written by Tiffany Hendricks of Akerman LLP.