If you work in an office, chances are that you can expect a holiday party this season. While many of these are fun, they can also result in embarrassment if you don’t handle yourself correctly. In the worst cases, they can turn criminal.

Now that the office party season has kicked off, here are a few tips to keep in mind to make sure the celebrations are both safe and legal.

1. Plus Ones

As an employer, you may have a clear idea of how your employees will behave at an office party. What about their dates? You can’t control the behavior of everyone, so put some rules in place before the party starts. Have a talk with your employees and let them know you reserve the right to ask anyone to leave the party if they begin to pose a hazard.

2. Sexual Harassment

The relaxed atmosphere of a holiday office party can lead to things being said and jokes being told that wouldn’t normally be uttered. Make sure that your employees know that sexual harassment is still a serious violation and that they should act accordingly. If an employee complains to you after the office party of being harassed, take the complain as seriously as you would had the incident occurred during the workday.

3. Decorating

Yes, you can get into hot water over decorating for the holidays. Keep your religious beliefs to yourself in order to make the decor inclusive to everyone. Stick with a neutral theme. Think snowflakes or a color scheme. Avoid any religious undertones in your decorating or your could find yourself named in a complaint, especially in a major corporate office.

4. Skip the Party

If you are worried about how a party will end up, consider skipping it altogether. You need to be able to trust your employees and their behavior before throwing an office party. If you have any thoughts that the party could turn bad, consider giving bonuses instead or buying lunch for everyone.

5. Party Games

Party games are fun in most cases. Party games are typically safe — until they aren’t. One of the more popular games during the holidays is the Egg Nog Chugging game. Unfortunately, this game has sent people to the hospital. Before you plan any games for the party, consider the safety risks associated with those games. If you feel that a game could pose a threat to someone’s health or safety, scrap it.

Holiday office parties can be fun for all involved. They can also be dangerous. Follow the tips above if you will be planning a party this year and keep everyone safe. You don’t want to face a civil lawsuit or be forced to defend yourself in criminal court in the New Year.

If you are arrested for a crime in Orlando, call our office. A member of our team will help you schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation at which time we will advise you of your options. Call today or browse our website for more information about our firm and the types of cases we have successfully handled.