Employment & Labour

Office party conduct may have lasting impact

An employee’s behaviour at an office holiday party can impact how they are viewed in a boss’s eyes, Toronto employment lawyer Doug MacLeod says in Lawyers Weekly.

MacLeod makes the comments in an article discussing the fallout that may follow inappropriate or drunken antics at a workplace gathering.

“One of the big things law firms are looking at is whether lawyers show good judgment in different situations. If somebody makes a fool of themselves, (partners) will be reluctant to give them work to do or put them in front of clients,” MacLeod says in the legal publication.

“Sometimes there can be a lot of hanky-panky going on at these office parties and that can cause all kinds of problems,” he adds, noting superior-subordinate relationships can be particularly problematic.

Liability is also a question that must be addressed when discussing office parties, says MacLeod.

“The firm can be found liable as a social host if somebody goes out and gets in a car accident or runs somebody over while they’re drunk,” he says in Lawyers Weekly. “You need to be very careful if you serve drinks and manage the drinking process.”

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