TO: Management Team
FROM: Company’s Legal Counsel
DATE: December 23, 2013
RE: Christmas Party Post-Mortem
The events that unfolded at the Company’s mandatory, in-house Christmas Party last week have resulted in the following pending matters and changes to Company policies:
- First, at the Christmas Party, we will no longer require employees to participate in an off-key rendition of Joy to the World, as a pre-condition of receiving their holiday bonus checks. We are checking with the EEOC to see if Grandma Got Run Over by A Reindeer would be sufficiently secular to use for next year's party.
- Second, next year’s party will be voluntary. Because the party was mandatory, the Company must compensate all hourly employees who attended or face possible wage claims. Thus, we must now explain to the Board of Directors why the Company should pay the entire Accounting Department for playing Truth or Dare until 4 a.m. Saturday.
- Third, hourly employees will not be asked to set up the party, serve hor d'oeuvres, tend bar, sing carols on demand, wear Santa hats, or clean-up after the party for the same reason cited above. We must arguably pay these employees for the hours they performed these tasks. I am certain that we are the only company in town that paid time and a half and provided full benefits for individuals to provide catering services.
- Fourth, Wendell from the mail room had never mixed drinks before being asked to bartend. He therefore made exceedingly strong drinks and apparently spiked the non-alcoholic punch at the behest of several members of the Sales Team. Next year, non-alcoholic beverages will be available (and will be protected from becoming alcoholic). We will also convert the jello-shots table to a full buffet and stop serving alcohol an hour before the party ends.
- Fifth, it turns out that Wendell from the mail room is a Senior in High School. When his mother tracked his phone to Peggy from Human Resources’ house the morning following the party, she called the police department. If we serve alcohol at next year’s Holiday Party, we will ensure that everyone who partakes is 21 or over. We will also provide a car service to ensure employees get home safely. The criminal aspects of this matter remain pending.
- Sixth, though it seemed charitable for Peggy to make sure that Wendell made it all the way home, all Company policies apply to the conduct at the party, including our prohibition of sexual harassment. Thus, instead of high-fiving Wendell, Tommy from Ethics should have taken his complaints about Peggy’s advances seriously and followed the Company’s policies and procedures for reporting and addressing harassment.
- Seventh, because every drink that Wendell made was a triple and there was no non-alcoholic alternative, several instances of sexual harassment, in addition to Wendell’s complaint, reportedly occurred. We are sorting through the various complaints, including one lodged by Tammy from Shipping, who claims that Lloyd from Data Processing repeatedly attempted to give the reindeer on her Christmas sweater a massage. Next year, Human Resources must send a pre-party reminder that Company policies apply at the Christmas Party just as they do during a normal workday. The same goes for enforcement of those policies.
- Finally, the Company may also be facing Workers’ Compensation exposure. Jeff from Marketing threw out his back during a dance fight with Darrel from Maintenance, and he has not been able to fully stand since the party. Because the party was mandatory and clients were invited, Jeff may have a workers’ compensation claim because this arguably occurred while he was in the course of his employment.