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Planning a Christmas office party?

By November 30, 2006law practice

Don’t forget the chips and salsa.  Oh, and read this advice from some employment lawyers, which is so sensible and cautionary that it’s bound to make your next office Christmas party one that everyone will remember.  Literally.

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One Comment

  • Aaron says:

    Not to imply anyone should get their employees drunk this Christmas season, but with teh exception of doing an “affirmative action” to put the employee in a dangerous position, serving them alchol won’t get anyone in trouble. From Freeman v. Estate of Young, 552 so.2d 1285:

    In Thrasher v. Leggett, 373 So.2d 494 (La.1979), we examined the duty owed by a bar owner to an intoxicated patron. Even if we accept plaintiff’s allegation that his employer provided its employees with the Christmas party solely for the benefit of the employer’s business, defendant would have no higher standard of duty than a bar owner. We found that duty, under C.C. 2315 and 2316, is to avoid affirmative acts which increase the risk of peril to an intoxicated person. The bar owner is not however responsible for harm caused by the patron’s inebriated condition itself. We also found that the proximate cause of harm is more nearly the act of voluntarily drinking to the point of intoxication, a form of *1288 contributory negligence, not the act of making the alcohol available for consumption. Viewing the situation before us here most favorably to plaintiff, defendant committed no affirmative act which increased plaintiff’s peril. Evicting plaintiff from the party, onto a busy street, might have been such an affirmative act, but permitting him to leave the party was not. Rather, plaintiff caused the danger to himself, first by drinking to the point of intoxication, then by choosing to drive home alone-after first driving a considerable distance in search of fireworks-instead of returning directly home in the company of his wife.

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