Company parties and events can be a great way to thank employees and customers for their hard work and to celebrate important business milestones. But they also can increase the chances your business will face a liability claim.
The biggest risk at a party is alcohol. Each state has different laws regarding the liability of a “social host,” meaning a person or organization that serves alcohol to someone who is later involved in an accident. But many states, depending on the circumstances, hold an employer at least partially liable for any injuries or damages caused by an inebriated employee. (Your attorney can help you determine your specific risk.)
With that in mind, you may want to consider serving only non-alcoholic drinks or limiting the number of alcoholic drinks each employee may consume at your party. Many companies provide drink “tickets” to each employee as they enter the party. Others hold company events during the day and make it a family-oriented event where children are welcome.
Either way, if you’re planning on a business event and considering serving alcohol, you may want to check with your insurance agent now to see what type of liability coverage for holiday parties is offered under your business insurance policies.
Not planning on serving alcohol? There are some other issues with company parties you’ll want to think about, too. Check out this story for some more things you’ll want to watch out for. Taking the time to understand the risks now can help you better plan your event and help your company avoid any major post-party headaches.