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As we close the year out, many businesses will be hosting company parties. Business owners, executives, and human resources personnel need to make sure to avoid some key risks to ensure their day of merriment does not turn into disaster. While your business insurance would likely respond to most claims, we have several tips to help reduce the likelihood of litigation. It is worth noting that employers are responsible for the conduct of their employees at all work-related events.Holiday Party Safety Tips
- Limit use of alcohol. Additionally, alcoholic options can be limited to wine and beer and the company should be sure to provide plenty of nonalcoholic beverage alternatives.
- Hire professional servers and make sure they have insurance.
- Make sure you have food at your party.
- Confirm that your employees understand that a holiday party is still a work-related activity and appropriate work behavior is still required.
- No mistletoe! This holiday symbol is an invitation for employees to engage in behavior which is inappropriate for the workplace.
- Make attending the party optional.
- Arrange for cab rides or transportation home for guests who may need it.
- Encourage managers to set a good example.
- Remind employees via email about your company's code of conduct and substance abuse policy prior to the party.
- Review the company's harassment policies with employees prior to the party.
- If you have employees bring food, be sure the food is labeled by type. Some people may have food allergies.
When business owners host a holiday party and serve alcohol as part of the festivities, liquor liability can be covered by their commercial general liability (CGL) policy. However, it is always best to check with your insurance agent or broker first.Business owners should talk with their insurance agent about their liability insurance coverage and any exclusions, conditions, or limitations to their policies for this kind of risk.
At Leap /Carpenter / Kemps, Merced County’s largest locally-owned agency, we have an experienced staff of professionals who understand that each business is unique and that the one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work. Our agents have access to more carriers and more plans, and that means that they have more options to create the best possible combination of coverage to minimize your risks and lower your costs.