We are officially in the holiday season! This means company celebrations are quickly approaching. Office parties boost morale and camaraderie, and are a great way to thank your employees for all their hard work during the year. However, holiday work events also bring about liability risks for employers.
Risks to Organization
The organizational risks when hosting a holiday celebration at the office are lawsuits filed against the organization by guests due to injury and medical expenses for those guests. In addition, the organization is liable for property damages by guests for both on and off-site hosted events. If you are planning on serving alcohol at your office party, keep in mind that negligent service or sale of alcohol is an additional risk. This would occur from a lawsuit brought against the organization by someone injured by a guest who drank alcohol during your event and injured someone while driving home.
Safety Tips for Employer Sponsored Events
We want your holiday party to go off without a hitch, Here are a few tips for ensuring employee safety and minimizing risk during employer sponsored parties during the holiday season:
Promote a responsible work culture. Include a statement with the invitation encouraging attendees to drink responsibly and to have a designated driver. Encourage employees to review workplace safety policies prior to your celebration.
Before the party occurs, conduct a refresher on the organization’s sexual harassment policy. Have supervisors keep an eye on employee behavior (and make sure to leave the mistletoe at home).
Conduct a Hazard/Risk Assessment and educate staff about safety in the workplace.
Review the General Liability policy to make sure your nonprofit is covered for the risks above. If not, look into special event insurance for gaps in coverage. The primary coverage for parties and social events are General Liability, Liquor Liability and Medical Payments.
A little planning ahead prevents big headaches later. If your organization is hosting a holiday party, check with your CalNonprofits Insurance account manager to see if you’re properly covered for any liability that could arise. Consider a fast, easy online quote for special event insurance.
Happy Halloween by Mel Poole
Drinks boy Tom Pumford