The company holiday party is just around the corner, and everyone has worked hard for the opportunity to relax and show their casual sides. Co-workers want to know: Will someone spike the punch again? Will inhibitions likely surface due to alcohol consumption? Will someone take a spill on the dance floor again while showing off the latest moves from Dancing with the Stars? We like to think that employees and guests will be well-behaved in the presence of their supervisors, but that’s not always the case. In fact, if the boss is drinking and living it up, why shouldn’t everyone else do the same? Truth be told, the holiday party can pose numerous risks for injury and negligence, particularly if alcohol is on the menu.
The holiday party has been around since the early days, and employers still find it valuable to reward their staff for a “job well done” throughout the year. These functions give everyone a chance to “loosen up” outside of the normal work environment. Employees become more relaxed and throw caution to the wind. They drink more than usual, too. It’s rare that most holiday parties don’t feature some type of restricted or open bar. Unfortunately, excessive alcohol consumption plays a part in many employee holiday party incidents, whether someone slips and falls on icy pavement or slips on the dance floor from being a little too tipsy, or continues the party afterwards on the road. There will always be someone who will take it a little too far.
A well-structured holiday party will implement several features to ensure the safety of those in attendance. Some of the features include:
- Limiting alcoholic drinks
- Designating a time for the party to end, and sticking to that time
- Never serving alcohol to a minor
- Serving heavy appetizers or dinner
- Enlisting designated drivers or a taxi service for those who have imbibed too much
If you do attend a company party, and are injured while at the party or by a drunk driver, a number of items must be investigated relating to your accident. For instance, the location of the holiday party becomes a factor. Was the party held at a private home, or at an association clubhouse? Was the party held at a local restaurant, or the place of employment? Laws relating to serving alcohol pose restrictions on providing alcohol in a public place versus a private facility. Did the incident involve a drunk driver who attended the party? Your first step to ensure that you are fairly compensated is to enlist the assistance of a law firm that specializes in personal injury cases to gather the pieces and investigate areas needing attention.
Remember, you deserve this time to enjoy yourself and your employer’s approval of a job well done, but even the best intentions can result in an accident at a company event. Attending a holiday party should be an event with a happy ending, and not one that means ending the year in the emergency room.