The world is cracking down on sexual harassment in the workplace. While many employers and employees understand what is acceptable and unacceptable conduct in the workplace, whether or not these rules apply at holiday parties is much less clear.
Company holiday parties are popular for a variety of reasons. An employer might throw one to show appreciation for his or her employees and clients, generate a stronger company camaraderie, or simply to celebrate a successful year. Although these parties are thrown with good intentions, the relaxed atmosphere and the presence of alcohol make company holiday parties a liability for sexual misconduct.
In this article, we’ll discuss how sexual misconduct at a company holiday party can be considered workplace sexual harassment. We’ll briefly explain the factors the court will look at to determine whether or not the employer is liable, so you can understand your legal courses of action before contacting an attorney near you.
Assessing Holiday Party Sexual Harassment Claims
When it comes to sexual misconduct in the workplace, anything from inappropriate touching to unwelcome sexual innuendo or advances can be considered sexual harassment. At company holiday parties, sexual misconduct by an executive, employee, client, or another guest can leave the company liable for a sexual harassment suit.
To determine if the employer is liable for misconduct at a holiday party, the court will look at the following factors. First, the time and location play a key role in the employer’s liability. If the holiday party was held on company property and during work hours, you could have a strong case for workplace sexual harassment. If the party was held off company property, but attendance was mandatory or even strongly encouraged, the employer may still be deemed liable.
Additionally, serving alcohol can impact a company’s liability for its workers’ conduct. If an employee becomes intoxicated at a company-sponsored event and commits an act of sexual harassment, the employer may very well be found liable for the actions of the said employee.
Contacting a Sexual Harassment Lawyer
For those who have been the victim of sexual harassment at a company holiday party, having the right legal representation is critical. Many factors can impact these claims, and hiring an experienced attorney to defend the case can play an influential role in the case.
The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, PC is eager to serve as your workplace sexual harassment lawyer in South Jersey. In fact, contact us today to speak with an attorney regarding your work sexual harassment case in South Jersey and to learn more about how we can fight for you.