Holiday Party Liability
Holiday parties can be a great way to reward your employees for a hard year’s work and boost morale for the coming year.
Many employees enjoy these events as a way of getting to know their coworkers in a social environment. However, there are risks to holding these parties. In some states, businesses that provide alcohol to their employees during holiday parties can be liable for the actions of an intoxicated employee. These liquor liability laws once only affected bars and venues that served alcohol, but they are increasingly being applied to “social hosts” If you serve alcohol to an intoxicated person or a minor, you could be held liable.
Before you serve alcohol at a holiday party, be sure to check with your broker at TMIB to see if your current policy will provide protection. A Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy may protect your business from liquor liability claims. However, you might want to consider purchasing Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) to provide coverage for your business from harassment or discrimination claims if one of your employees harasses a customer or client while intoxicated.
Tegner-Miller Insurance Brokers has compiled the following tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable holiday party.
- Be sure to advise both employees and managers to drink responsibly.
- Hold the party offsite, preferably at a location with trained bartenders.
- If you are holding your party offsite, consider a cash bar. Employees will be less likely to over-consume if they are footing the bill. If you are paying for drinks, consider a voucher system to limit the number of drinks each employee can consume.
- Always offer food and non-alcoholic beverages. Drinking on an empty stomach can easily lead to intoxication.
- Never serve alcohol to minors.
- Provide transportation for your employees who have been drinking.