It might be a merry time of year, but the holidays can also be a major headache for business owners. Imagine a scenario where you’ve thrown a holiday office party as a thank you for everyone’s hard work, and then you witness an employee who’s getting too familiar with some female attendees. Suddenly, your well-intentioned holiday party has turned into a sexual harassment complaint and a holiday lawsuit. These kinds of situations can devolve into a legal nightmare. The question is, what can you do to avoid holiday lawsuits before they rear their ugly heads?
Be Responsible with Holiday Parties
The number one problem associated with holiday parties is alcohol. Your goal should either be to have no alcohol, or to provide it in limited quantities, such as through a two-drink limit ticket system. Better still, hold the office party at another location where the liability for people’s behavior becomes the domain of the establishment where the event is being held. You can help reduce the likelihood of sexual harassment charges by making parties a couples event, or even an event for the whole family. Consider talking to a business attorney in Seattle or Portland to try to make your party lawsuit-proof.
Be Respectful of Others’ Beliefs
Other holiday lawsuits center around discrimination. A lot depends on the type of business you run, but you could risk a lawsuit for giving preferential treatment to one holiday over another. While having a Christmas tree display with no menorah is tempting fate, the real issue is when you have employees who feel like one group is getting special treatment, particularly when it comes to compensation. Take extra care not to ignore someone’s beliefs or otherwise alienate them. A Portland or Seattle business attorney can help you limit your liability in these cases.
Be Mindful of Intellectual Property
It’s tempting to put up festive displays for customers or play holiday songs for your employees, but you should always be aware that these actions could lead to legal action from the copyright holders. If you’re in doubt about whether you’re infringing on someone’s copyright, it’s always a good idea to use caution. If you’re determined to use something that could be copyrighted, contact a Seattle or Portland business lawyer for help in minimizing your liability and potentially seeking permission from the copyright holder to avoid a corporate lawsuit situation.
The last thing you want during the holidays is a corporate lawsuit in Seattle or Portland. That’s why you should always be aware of your business’s potential liability during this busy season. With some simple protections in place, you can enjoy the holidays without having to worry so much about a dreaded holiday lawsuit.