HR Base Camp Roundup – December 5th, 2022

In this week’s edition of the HR Base Camp roundup, we have some great questions from our community regarding how to limit the risks involved with serving alcohol at your office holiday party, and how to help an employee who is experiencing domestic violence. Read on for the answers!

Here are the HR Q&As from our HR Base Camp Facebook Group and HR Solution Center:

 

One of my employees recently shared that she is experiencing domestic violence. What can I do as her employer to help her?

This is a devastating situation for your employee, and we’re glad that you want to help. The first step is to see what support your employee needs. You may want to share information about domestic violence shelters and other resources for victims. It’s also a good idea to have a plan in place should there be an incident at work that compromises safety.

If she needs time off for court appearances, medical assistance, etc., it’s good practice to work with her schedule so she’s able to take the time. Depending on your state, she may also be entitled to some sort of domestic violence leave. This kind of leave has become increasingly common and typically requires the employer to allow the employee to take a certain amount of time for reasons related to domestic violence. We recommend checking your state law to see if this is a benefit you can offer to her.

This is a hard situation to navigate, and only so much can be done as the employer. The most important thing you can do is be a supportive, open ear if anything is needed and ensure that the employee feels safe at work.

 

I’m considering providing alcohol at this year’s holiday party. I haven’t done this before and am wondering if there are any risks involved.

Serving alcohol at holiday parties is extremely common. While it does come with its own set of risks, following a few key steps will lower these risks and limit your liability should something go wrong.

Picking the right location and day is important. We advise against holding the party at your office or at any personal property. Instead, opt for something like a private room at a restaurant or a hotel. While parties are typically associated with weekend nights, having company parties on weeknights can help reduce the chance of things getting too rowdy since people know they have to go to work the next day.

When it comes to the alcohol itself, steer clear of open bars or DIY drink stations. Having a bartender keeps serving sizes in check and designates someone who can cut off folks who have too much.

Most importantly, make sure that there is a way for employees to get home safely once the party ends. You can set up a company Lyft or Uber account that employees can use to call their own rides. The price you’ll pay for the rides is worth it for the peace of mind.

Read our Office Holiday Party Guidance blog for a full breakdown of all the things you should consider when having a company holiday party.

 

At CEDR, we help employers protect their businesses and build stronger teams. Because stronger teams build better workplaces, and better workplaces make better lives.

Have an HR question you need to talk through with an HR expert? Reach out to the Solution Center for expert guidance, or get your questions answered in our private, professional Facebook Group, HR Base Camp.

Dec 5, 2022

Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice or replace individual guidance about a specific issue with an attorney or HR expert. The information on this page is general human resources guidance that is believed to be current as of the date of publication. Note that CEDR is not a law firm, and as the law is always changing, you should consult with a qualified attorney or HR expert who is familiar with all of the facts of your situation before making a decision about any human resources or employment law matter.
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