Industries & Practices

Workers’ Compensation & Safety (OSHA)


    Could this be you? Don’t invite injuries to your holiday party

    It’s the time of year again when employers start planning year-end holiday parties. While most parties go off without a hitch, occasionally, unfortunate accidents do happen.

    We’ve all been at these parties. At some point during the evening, Jimmy from accounting finds his dancing feet and Carol from IT starts, well, “caroling” (if you can call it that). And, all is well until Danny decides to challenge Jimmy to a dance-off. Drink in hand, slippery dance floor – you know what’s coming next.... If an injury occurs at your company-sponsored event, you could be liable under workers’ compensation. 

    If your party includes any planned physical activities, like dancing, consider having your employees sign a recreational waiver.

    So, what can you do to help your employees safely enjoy the “spirits” of the season?

    Often, accidents occur as a result of alcohol, and some employers may be tempted to exclude alcohol from their parties to avoid this risk all together. BAH HUMBUG! You can keep it fun and still stay safe without being a Scrooge!

    Here are a few tips to show your employees you appreciate all of their hard work while keeping in the spirit of the season:

    • Offer alternative transportation like taxis or ride-hailing companies. Encourage your employees to use Uber or Lyft by having someone available at the exit with the app in hand, and let them know the tab is on you tonight. Or, you can circulate a designated driver list to arrange carpooling. 

    • Serve cheese to go with that wine. Empty stomachs and alcohol do not mix. Be sure to include snacks, appetizers or a full meal for your employees.

    • Have plenty of alcohol-free choices for designated drivers. Consider “mocktails” so they don’t feel left out of the fun. 

    This is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice and does not create or imply an attorney-client relationship.

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