During the holiday season, planning office parties is par for the course. Did you know that you could be held accountable for any injuries or damages caused at one if it's on your premises, though? Because of that, there are a few tips you should consider.
Are you supplying alcohol at the office party? If you are, then you may want to consider having your party outside the company grounds. This helps because the premises liability will be with the location where you hold the party instead of with your company. Additionally, consider having a drink ticket system or designated person who can drive intoxicated employees home. In New Jersey, an employer acting as a host can be held liable for injuries to third parties if you serve alcohol to an obviously intoxicated individual; make sure you have enough liability insurance for your own company and be sure the location where you've hired a bar also has liability insurance coverage.
On that same note, if the weather is bad or projected to be dangerous, remember that you need to keep your office property safe. Slip-and-fall accidents can cause serious head injuries, broken bones or other injuries, so it's important that you have the foresight to clean up ice or snow to prevent injury.
With some planning, your office party can be a success without any damage to property or injury to employees. If you or an employee are hurt on the premises due to neglect or negligence, then remember that you and they do have a right to seek compensation for those injuries.
Source: JD Supra, "Bah Humbug! The Top 5 Things to Keep in Mind When Planning an Office Holiday Party" Gregory Eck, Dec. 25, 2014