NEW YORK (AP) – A small business holiday party can be faced with legal problems if staff or guests drink too much. If they are sexually violated or involved in accidents of any kind, the owner of the enterprise may be held to be legally liable.
Employment advisers and HR consultants say they get more questions from their predecessors than small business owners who want to know what they can do to protect themselves. The safest way is not to use alcohol. But this is a council that is often ignored; owners do not want to hope they do not trust their employees or treat them as irresponsible teens.
If the owners serve alcohol, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the probability of the problem. Here are some of them:
– Sit a meal in a restaurant, not a cocktail; the structure of events will make people less likely to behave in a wrong way. And as soon as you plan a meal – lunch unlike dinner – the less likely you drink.
– If you have fun in your premises or in the event area, rent a professional bartender, someone who has a trained eye for signs that someone had enough to drink and should not consume more alcohol.
– Use maps or coupons to limit the number of drinks that someone can order. Some owners assign ticket numbers to individual employees who must then show their ID card along with the map. This prevents people from looking for colleagues for tickets they will not use.
– You do not have an open rod. Beer and wine have less alcohol content and last longer for consumers.
– Do not drink the party center. Activity such as bowling, board games, painting and even more recent trends such as throwing blades will take people's minds from alcohol.
– Be prepared to get a taxi and car service for anyone who has too much to drink.
– If the staff maintain their own compensation, no one in the management, including the boss, should be there. Employment advisors warn that if there is even one supervisor, the company could be responsible if there are accidents or injuries from staff who drink too much.
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