There are many sources of stress during the holidays. Unfortunately, what you say and do at work are on that list. We know, we’ve checked it twice!
There are laws that dictate the guidelines a business can create for sharing good tidings around the office. And there’s business liability insurance in case of lawsuits.
Basically, you can’t create blanket policies, such as “everyone has to say Merry Christmas” or “no-one can say Merry Christmas.” Both are considered religious discrimination.
Harassment and payroll are other issues to keep an eye on in December.
Since sexual harassment is all over the headlines these days. We’re pretty sure you’re not hanging any mistletoe in the office, and there are many other types of harassment you need to be aware of. For example, not all employees may be interested in attending the holiday party. Be sure they are not being harassed for that decision.
Sometimes skipping the holiday party is not an option because you have made attendance mandatory. In this case, you’ll also have to comply with wage laws, for hourly, non-exempt employees, especially if the party is being held during off-hours.
Although it should be a joyous time of year, lawsuits sometimes happen.
General liability insurance typically covers bodily injury, property damage, medical payments, and personal injury (such as libel, slander, and false arrest, to name a few). Employment practices liability insurance covers you from employee allegations (such as harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination, to name a few.)
Equality, diversity, legal, and insured happy holidays.
The holiday guidelines in your office need to be fair and inclusive, offering religious accommodations to all employees. Everyone should be able to celebrate without encroaching on other employees, or not celebrate without being outcast by the other employees.