Hosting an office party to celebrate the holidays is a great idea—but it requires plenty of planning to ensure that the celebration falls under the heading of “nice” rather than “naughty.”
Holding an office party with improper use of alcohol can leave the company vulnerable to liability under tort, workers’ compensation, or other laws. It can also result in later complaints of harassment or a hostile work environment... or even worse: a physical assault, a car accident, injury, or death.
To keep your celebration jolly, follow these tips.
- Check your comprehensive general liability policy to ensure that it provides coverage for third-party liquor liability.
- Consider purchasing special event insurance coverage or a separate liquor liability policy for your event.
- If your office party is taking place at a venue other than the office, ask the venue owner for copies of insurance coverage for liquor liability.
- To control alcohol consumption, have a cash bar or supply employees with a limited number of drink tickets. Additionally, close the bar well before the end of the party, and serve food rich in starch and protein, which may slow the absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream.
- Consider hiring a professional bartender, who may be able to help identify signs of intoxication—and cut off party attendees who have overimbibed.
- Arrange for designated drivers in advance of the party, or hire a bus for employee transportation if the party is being held offsite.
- Remind employees that all the company’s employee policies remain in effect at the party.
- Consider hosting an alcohol-free party. (But be sure to be upfront about this with your employees.)
Beall Financial and Insurance Services has been working with business-owners for more than 25 years to help them protect their most important assets, and their companies’ future. If you have questions about insurance coverage for your business, contact us.
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