TAKE THE HORROR OUT OF HALLOWEEN « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Office Celebration Guidelines

Workplace Halloween parties can build teamwork and morale if properly planned and managed.  Some suggested do’s and don’ts to help make yours a smashing success:

DO: Evaluate what type of Halloween festivities best fit your company’s culture.

DO: Consider ways to celebrate the occasion that minimize the chances for unwanted romantic advances and other improper conduct, for example holding a Halloween luncheon (and not a night party) or including workplace-appropriate team building games and activities.

DO: Make participation in your Halloween celebration voluntary.  Respect employees who do not wish to take part.

DO: If you allow costumes, provide advance guidelines, including examples of inappropriate get-ups such as skimpy outfits and costumes likely to be insulting or offensive to other races, cultures, religions, etc.

DO: Apply discipline as needed, such as sending an employee home to change if the costume is inappropriate for the workplace.

DON’T: Allow supervisors to behave inappropriately.  Supervisors and managers must be role models and set the example.

DON’T: Look the other way if an employee is being teased about his or her outfit.  Such teasing can lead to a harassment claim if management stands by and does nothing.

DON’T: Encourage employees to dress as other co-workers.  Such impersonations can lead to mockery or other inappropriate conduct, hurt feelings and/or harassment claims.

DON’T: Allow alcohol consumption.  Your business can be liable for physical injuries incurred or sexual harassment committed by a person served alcohol at a company-sponsored party, whether on or off the job or on or off company premises.

For further assistance this holiday season, please contact one of our attorneys Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

See also:

Tim Bowles
Cindy Bamforth
October 7, 2022
(Originally published October 16, 2015)

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