How to Avoid any kind of Legal Liability at the Office Christmas Party

With the Christmas season just around the corner, almost all offices are preparing for the annual party in full swing. Christmas is equivalent to merriment, hence it is essential for everyone to enjoy themselves thoroughly. Along with good food and fun activities, it is a common feature nowadays to provide alcohol at an office Christmas party.

Such a social event is organized in a workplace in order to promote cordial relations among their employees. It helps in bringing together everyone in the joyous spirit of Christmas. But it is the employer’s responsibility to be cautious about its workforce. The intake of alcohol is all fun and games as long as the person can look after himself. In case something blows out of proportion, the employer is liable for it.

The after effects of alcohol at an office Christmas party

Whenever alcohol is served at an office Christmas party, the employer or the manager has to be attentive in case people get intoxicated due to it. It is important to note that every individual’s capability to handle alcohol in their system is different. Not only this, but each person behaves in a different manner on being intoxicated. This might be a bother for the employers as according to social host laws, the employer is accountable if the intoxicated person suffers or causes harm. This results in the legal liability of the company as well.


It is the legal liability of the employer when alcohol is present at an office Christmas party.

In case a person drives after drinking and gets into an accident, the local police will take strict action against the employer who provided alcohol at his party. In the technical sense, if an employee of certain company causes harm in the scope of employment; then the court will hold the employer liable for the act. There are a number of debates about the criteria of the scope of employment. Usually, it means the individual’s working hours. But now various legal bodies have included work-based social events like office Christmas parties in the criteria. Therefore even if the intoxicated person leaves the office premises, if he breaks a law as a result of the party, then the employer has to pay a price for it.

How to avoid such a situation

Whenever a company decides to throw an office Christmas party and serve alcohol in it, it must keep a number of factors in mind. In the invitation, do not state that it’s compulsory to attend the party. In case some mishap takes place, the employer can claim that it was optional to attend the party and the individual attended it out of free will. Make sure that everyone who is consuming alcohol is a legal adult.

Such parties often have open bars for the convenience of its guests. Even in such a scenario, hire bartenders to serve drinks to the guests. This will help in keeping a check on the alcohol consumption of the people. Along with this, the manager must make sure that there is constant service of food at the office Christmas party. If a person consumes alcohol with an empty stomach, he is likely to get intoxicated faster. Certain companies also provide facilities for commuting after such a party as it helps in avoiding any kind of accidents. By doing so, the employer can make sure that all his guests have reached their homes safely.

Diana Coker
Diana Coker is a staff writer at The HR Digest, based in New York. She also reports for brands like Technowize. Diana covers HR news, corporate culture, employee benefits, compensation, and leadership. She loves writing HR success stories of individuals who inspire the world. She’s keen on political science and entertains her readers by covering usual workplace tactics.

Similar Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.