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Celebrating the Season at Work

December 18, 2015 | Posted In Sexual Assault

It’s the holiday season, which means annual holiday parties are now in full swing. For many hard-working employees, this is a great chance to get together, blow off some steam and celebrate the season. But before you get set to enjoy a night out on the company’s dime, you should keep in mind a few key dangers for any holiday celebration that could truly be disastrous in a corporate setting.

Drinking Too Much

Alcohol is a prominent feature of most company holiday parties. An open bar is an easy way to say thank you to employees for the work they do all year long, but free-flowing booze comes with some dangers and risks that employees should be on guard against. Alcohol often bolsters most people to do what they wouldn’t normally do when they’re sober.

If you’re intoxicated, you’re much more likely to speak your mind, behave a little louder and wilder and take risks that you wouldn’t ordinarily take. When you’re at the bar with your friends or family, drinking to excess might be embarrassing, but it will at least provide your friends with a few good laughs at your expense. When you’re drinking at a work function, it’s a whole different story.

No matter what you’re celebrating or how you’re making merry, it’s a good practice to remain professional around your coworkers and your boss. The holiday party might have an open bar, but if, for example, you know tequila makes you take your clothes off, this might be the night to stick to club soda. Alcohol fuels many a spectacle or altercation and if this happens at a corporate function, it could spell legal trouble for anyone who drinks to excess.

Alcohol and Harassment

One problem that is far too common at company holiday parties is harassment, particularly of a sexual nature. A holiday party creates a different kind of vibe than the day-to-day office life — it’s after working hours, late in the evening, with dim lights, fancy clothes and all types of liquor. In this setting, a harmless office flirtation can escalate quickly, a rivalry or competition between coworkers may reach new levels, or a personal disagreement could turn public.

It might be harmless fun to flirt casually with your coworker between cubicles or chat over daily coffee, but it’s easy to leave those flirtations at the office at the end of the day. At the holiday party, after a few too many beers, you may have the false courage to decide it’s the perfect time to announce your true feelings to your office crush, or you may be tempted to take things a step further than cubicle flirting. If you’re the only one feeling that way, or if you (or the object of your attentions) have a significant other, this could be a disaster and could lead to claims of sexual harassment.

If you had too much to drink this year, such that you ended up getting into legal trouble from your office party actions, contact a New Jersey sexual assault lawyer at Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman, PA, for a consultation.

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