Sexual harassment in the workplace is a very big problem for any size company. Most businesses employ lawyers to draft very strict policies regarding conduct in the workplace to help prevent sexual harassment, keep employees safe, and keep themselves clear of any risk for legal trouble.
What about holiday parties, though? Is sexual harassment that occurs at an office party still grounds for legal action?
The simple answer is that yes, sexual harassment can absolutely lead to legal trouble for both parties, even if it occurs outside the office, at a company holiday party. The party does not have to be held on the business site for it to be considered sexual harassment.
To help prevent legal problems, it is best for Managers to advise employees beforehand to limit alcohol consumption, and assure workers that all office policies are still in place, even outside the workplace.
Taking the time to remind employees about appropriate conduct and sexual harassment can go a long way towards preventing these issues from becoming a problem. No business owner wants to be embarrassed by sexual harassment allegations within the company, and nobody wants to face criminal charges via an attorney from someone who simply had too much to drink.
Remind employees that there are still legal and employment penalties for sexual harassment, and they will be much more likely to keep their behavior in check at your office parties.