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Tips for Preventing Holiday Season Sexual Harassment Allegations

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Lewd jokes, talking, and flirtatious banter-an office party can include all of these elements. However, what is just a simple end- of- the- year celebration for all the staff members in an office can very often have legal consequences. In a heightened politically correct climate, staff members and superiors who behave in a manner that is deemed inappropriate towards a colleague or subordinate could find themselves facing allegations of sexual harassment.

In many ways, the office party is fertile ground for such allegations to take place, because of the light atmosphere, blurring of traditional subordinate/superior lines and the fact that the spirits flow heavily. In fact, to avoid your office party becoming a scene for sexual harassment, limit the amount of alcoholic drinks that you serve. Very often, alcohol loosens inhibitions, and persons who otherwise would never dream of behaving inappropriately, may say or do something that could have legal consequences.

Make no mistake. Bad behavior during an office party cannot be talked away as an effect of the holiday spirits and good cheer. A lawsuit can easily be filed, and in fact very often, legal action is taken against such behavior.

If you are planning an office party at your workplace, make sure that alcohol is banned, or at least limited, and that the dancing is kept as clean as possible. If you see colleagues going into dangerous ground on the dance floor, move in in to avoid things from getting nasty. Hire trained bartenders, who can limit alcohol consumption, and are trained to spot the signs of over- intoxication.

Hold breakfast or lunch parties which have a lower risk of heavy drinking and bad behavior.

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