Most companies enjoy celebrations at the end of the year. They can vary from low key office parties to extravagant celebrations at hotels or restaurants. However your organization chooses to celebrate the season and the year’s accomplishments, there are several things to keep in mind if serving alcohol is part of your company’s culture:
- Host Beware-most states have social host statutes or common law that would hold private event hosts liable for the behavior/actions of attendees. That means that if you provide alcohol in a non-commercial manner, you are considered a social host. If your employees or their guests drive under the influence after your party and cause an accident, you could be liable. You may want to review your current general liability policy to verify if it covers such situations.
- Contract with a vendor that is licensed, insured and has received alcohol awareness training and ask them to provide you with their Certificate of Liability Insurance (you may also ask them to name your company as an Additional Insured)
- Review your company’s Anti-Harassment policy with employees before your event
- Have procedures in place for handling inebriated guests. It is best to have Hotel Security or someone trained to take appropriate action designated ahead of time handle any intoxicated guests. It is also a good idea to have a contract with a car or taxi service to take guests home.
- Other ways to control over indulging are to serve plenty of food, have your event earlier in the day, offer entertainment such as dancing to keep guests occupied, invite families, stop serving at dinner, hand out a limited number of tickets to guests when they enter or you can limit the bar options to beer and wine and you can always go with a cash bar.
We all enjoy celebrating in different ways. The bottom line is, we all want to be together to do it again next year. Following the tips above well help ensure that your company is headed in the right direction! Have a Safe and Happy Holiday!