Some employers host office parties to celebrate Halloween. These parties can boost morale and encourage camaraderie among employees. But, to avoid legal exposure, an employer should consider taking some precautions.
First and foremost, an employer should never force an employee to participate in a Halloween celebration. Second, an employer should establish guidelines for any festivities held at the workplace. An employer should remind employees to act professionally and to save any “tricks” for later. An employer may also wish to set dress code standards for costumes. For instance, an employer could advise employees to avoid costumes that reflect stereotypes, depict other cultures or religions, are political in nature, are unsafe, involve weapons or project images that are inappropriate for the workplace. Unfortunately, an employer must also be prepared to discipline employees if necessary.
If an employer wishes to both celebrate the occasion and avoid potential liability issues, the employer could establish an alternative to the more traditional Halloween party. For example, an employer could hold a Halloween potluck breakfast or host a pumpkin carving contest.
To speak to a Dallas, Texas employment law attorney about a Texas or federal employment law issue, contact the employment law attorneys at Clouse Dunn Khoshbin LLP at [email protected].
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