Liability and Business Holiday Parties

Liability and Business Holiday Parties

When the holiday season approaches, it is hard to avoid the festive feeling that surrounds it.  As the owner of a business, you may want to keep that feeling alive by throwing a holiday party for your employees.  But you may ask, “What about liability?”  Your business insurance policy does offer some coverage for liability, but sometimes the line can be rather blurry when it comes to the holiday party.  Here are some tips to help prevent liability issues at your party this year:

  • Invite all employees.  The guys on the loading dock should have the same invitation as the assistant directors in the office.
  • Allow them to bring a guest.  Your employees may feel more comfortable going to the party if they can be accompanied by a familiar face.
  • Have the party at an off-site location that carries its own liability insurance.  Ask the venue manager what type of liability they cover before booking.
  • Limit the alcohol you will be serving.  Some business owners like to hand out drink tickets before the party to keep the alcohol intake to a minimum.
  • Have a bartender serve drinks.  Do not let your employees get the drinks themselves or you could end up with some very stiff drinks being passed around.
  • Have the party after business hours.  This will help clarify the difference between it being a work function and an after-work function.
  • Do not make it mandatory.  Another good way to clarify the party as an after-work function.
  • Do not talk about business at the party.  Save the end-of-the-year speech for the office next week.  Talk about other topics instead.
  • Leave specific holiday traditions out.  Do not risk offending anyone and just have a good time!

Your holiday party should be one that your employees remember for all the good memories they made, not the bad.  Have a great time and enjoy yourself at your company holiday party!


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