Marc A. Mandelman, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in Law360, in “How to Hold a Holiday Party Without Inviting Legal Hassles,” by Aaron Vehling. (Read the full version – subscription required.)
Following is an excerpt:
Instead, managers and supervisors need to keep an eye on how things are going at the party and be prepared to immediately address any inappropriate behavior they observe, Mandelman said.
Employers should establish a protocol or game plan for how to address situations that arise, such as inappropriate behavior on the dance floor, someone telling offensive jokes during a speech or someone trying to kiss a coworker under the mistletoe, he said.
“They need to be prepared to deal with that and not get caught off guard,” he said.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires prompt and effective action, so employers can’t brush off concerns, hoping people forget about them in the morning, Mandelman said.
See also Episode 7 of Employment Law This Week for more tips on avoiding HR problems at holiday parties (YouTube link).