By Carol Nibley

It used to be quite simple for employers to host holiday celebrations for their employees. Not so any longer. If you have just survived the ghosts and goblins of Halloween without incident, consider yourselves fortunate and plan for the coming holiday season. (The dangers of inappropriate Halloween costumes and ghoulish behaviors in the workplace are the subject for another time!)

Nine of ten employers surveyed recently reported they plan to sponsor a holiday celebration of some type this year. Common types of misconduct at such holiday gatherings include excessive drinking, inappropriate jokes, religious insensitivity, crude language, and sexual advances, just to name a few. Legal claims continue to arise as result of such misconduct, despite the best intentions of employers.

Here are a few suggestions that may help reduce unfortunate incidents:

Keeping these cautions in mind, employers can still find creative and meaningful ways to celebrate the holiday season. Several years ago, the CEO of a large local call center dressed up as Santa and brought food and gifts to the employees working throughout the night on Christmas Eve. Those employees likely will never forget that meaningful expression of warmth and appreciation.

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