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Written by Adam Miller
Could Your Company Holiday Party Pose Liability Risks?

Holiday parties are a popular way for companies to celebrate the end of the year and to treat employees and their loved ones to fun and festivities. There's often great food, music and dancing, gifts or prizes, and alcoholic drinks for guests to enjoy. Unfortunately, some holiday parties can end in disaster for companies when employees or their guests make poor choices or act inappropriately. In today's Aegis blog post, we look at some of the liability risks that could result from company holiday parties, and what can be done beforehand to mitigate those risks.

Liquor Liability

Unfortunately, one of the most common issues that arise from company holiday parties is that employees or their guests consume too much alcohol and create a liquor liability risk. They might try driving home drunk and end up causing an accident and injuring others, or they could be involved in physical altercations because of excessive alcohol consumption. In either instance, companies could be held liable for injuries, damages, and losses related to alcohol consumed at a company function.

Sexual Harassment

Another issue companies should be concerned about at holiday parties is the danger of an employee sexually harassing another employee or guest. Unfortunately, it has become all too common for some employees to become inappropriate at holiday parties and make unwanted advances towards a coworker, guest, or an employee of the venue hosting the party. If an employee or supervisor at a company function sexually harasses another individual, the company could be held liable for damages.

Property Damages

Finally, company parties can lead to fun and frivolity, but they can also lead to unwise or dangerous decisions, resulting in property damage. For example, if an employee at a company party consumes too much alcohol, they could get behind the wheel and damage company buildings or property on the way out. Likewise, employees might get carried away and engage in horseplay that could end up with someone injured and company property damaged.

Celebrating the holiday season with your employees is a great opportunity to unwind and get to know one another better, but it's important to make sure it will be safe as well as fun. To reduce liability risks at your upcoming holiday party, consider limiting alcoholic drinks to 2 per guest, offer a cash bar instead of open bar, provide ride sharing or taxi services for guests who've had too much to drink and can't drive themselves home, or consider having a company luncheon during the week without alcohol.  In addition, check with Aegis Insurance & Financial Services to ensure you have commercial insurance coverage in place to help if any of the issues above does arise at your company function. Contact Aegis today at 713-850-7622 for more information, or fill out our online form to request a free quote.

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