Limiting Liability At Your Company Holiday Party
As the holidays roll around, it comes time to unwind and appreciate all your hard work – and what better way to do this than by enjoying a holiday party with all your employees and coworkers? Normally, the only thing people worry about when it comes to holiday parties is how they can get people to show up. However, a holiday party, as fun as it might be, can provide plenty of new concerns with liability. Here we’ll explain the liability concerns for a Company Party, and what you can do to mitigate them.
Why Worry About Liability?
It seems a little silly to get worked up about things like liability waiver forms and chasing down people for electronic signatures, all over a party. However, it should be understood that no matter how casual your workspace is, a company party is a different kind of get-together. A company party is not an actual work event, which means that your normal agreements of liability are out the window.
However, it’s vitally important to make it clear that this is not a part of regular work to everyone involved. This prevents awkward questions about liability and compensation. For example, if someone is injured at a holiday party, does it fall under workers comp? Conversely, if company property or reputation is damaged, are your employees still liable? Getting together liability waiver forms is a good way to clear up these kinds of queries.
Of course, in the best-case scenario, you never need to worry about issues of liability at all. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry – all the Christmas magic out there won’t save you if a serious issue comes up. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to help cut down on your liability through smart planning.
Firstly are the invitations. It sounds like a simple enough step, but it is important to take care here. You want to send out blanket invitations across the company, to avoid any accusations of discrimination if someone doesn’t receive an invitation. By the same token, however, you should never make a work party mandatory. This could open up a whole can of worms when it comes to wages and hour issues, and turn the party from a fun reward into a (perish the thought) obligation.
Thankfully most work parties don’t take place in environments with a heavy danger of injury. However, you can still tip the odds in your favor by finding out a way to limit alcohol. By getting some control over the flow of drinks, you can limit the chance of things getting out of control. This thankfully doesn’t have to be difficult – a system like drink tickets can easily enforce a drink limit. The timing of the event can also have some effect here. If you hold your party earlier in the evening and end it earlier, you can have everything wrapped up before over-drinking becomes an issue.
Building a Holiday Party Liability Waiver Form
Another great way to keep everything organized on the liability front is to send out a simple release of liability form along with the invitations. This can spell out very clearly to employees that this is an entirely voluntary event, and that it is entirely on them to behave in a responsible manner.
Of course, trying to get paper documents out to everyone in your organization could be a severe hassle, especially if you work for a larger company. This is why using electronic documents is a great idea. You can send out the document online along with the party invitation. And you can then collect them back with online signatures – no fuss or hassle.