It’s official. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Red cup debate aside, our favourite holiday drinks are back in their glory and the malls (and e-malls) are buzzing with carols blaring and shoppers looking frantically for the perfect gifts.

With the holiday season in full swing and the party rush about to begin, we thought it would be timely to bring you some tips from employment lawyer Jeff Burtt – Barrister on how to keep your workplace holiday party safe and sexual harassment free.

Jeff – take it away!

  1. Keep Santa in line. The local Rent-a-Santa probably doesn’t conduct background checks so don’t allow your employees to sit on Santa’s lap.
  2. Watch the holiday “Cheers.” Keep a close eye on alcohol consumption and inebriation. Arrange for transportation. Cab
    fares are far less expensive than a negligence lawsuit due to a drunk driving employee.
  3. Designate “party police.” Choose sticklers who will be strict on excessive drinking or other inappropriate behavior.
  4. Don’t ignore feisty holiday spirit. Overly amorous displays of affection between co-workers can be a serious matter.
  5. Watch the reindeer games. Discourage activities that invite touching or personal revelations. This includes the all-time party favorite “The Rumba Line.”
  6. Invite significant others. Their presence discourages flirting and ensures workers are good little boys and girls.
  7. Monitor gift giving. Discourage the exchange of offensive or inappropriate gifts that have sexual or romantic overtones.
  8. Lock the copy machine. Blotchy copies may be the least of your worries if daring employees get their hands on it.
  9. End the party early. Keep “God rest ye merry gentlemen” from becoming “Bob, arrest these merry gentlemen!”

Jeff Burtt – Barrister is a Toronto employment lawyer specializing in wrongful dismissal. Jeff has over 25 years of experience helping non-union employees and employers to address legal challenges in the workplace. To learn more about Jeff’s service capabilities call 416.486.6400, visit his website, or view his profile and book an appointment with him on Kabuk, here.