This time of year, many companies sponsor holiday work parties for their employees. These events are great opportunities for socializing and networking with co-workers – but things can get out of hand. Some provide open bars, which can lead to overindulgence and unfortunate consequences like car accidents. It is always wise to take it easy at these parties, to protect reputations and job security.
Work party guests can get injured in situations that do not involve alcohol. If the parking lot, floors, or dance floor are slippery, someone could slip and fall. Sometimes, partygoers get hit with food poisoning, which can be very unpleasant and send them to a hospital.
If sports activities and games are held at these events, participants can suffer many different types of injuries. Accidents have also occurred during party set ups or take downs; falling off ladders or chairs is not uncommon.
Employers and employees can take precautions to help avoid these accidents. Careful planning can reduce the chances of a work party disaster. Hiring professionals to serve the alcohol can help. Servers can gauge how much someone has had to drink and can refuse to serve them.
The company should appoint a contact person for reporting any problems. It also may be a good idea to invite family members, including children.
Careful attention should also be given to the party setup. There should not be any debris or objects blocking the party area; floors should not be slippery. Any decorations should be well secured, with no risk of anything falling.
Attendees should plan ahead of time to not overindulge in food or drink, and to always be aware of their surroundings. Staying until the party’s end is usually not a good idea, but having a designated driver or booking a room to stay in overnight are.
An employee who is injured at a holiday party may be unsure about their options. It may be possible to make a Workers’ Compensation claim, but it depends on the circumstances. One deciding factor is if the employee was injured during their course of employment.
If the party happened at the workplace, during work hours, the claim might qualify. Also, if party attendance was required, or if the company paid for the party, the injury might be covered.
Many companies sponsor holiday parties for two reasons: to benefit employees; and to benefit their clients. Employees may be expected to network with clients at these parties, so the occasions can be considered working events.
If the company benefitted from the party, paid employees to attend, or gave out bonuses only if employees were present, they could be liable for Workers’ Compensation for the accident.
Whether your accident took place at work or at your company party, an Allegheny County Workers’ Compensation lawyer at AlpernSchubert P.C. can provide the legal guidance you need. Our team is dedicated to getting every client the compensation to which they are entitled. Complete our online contact form or call us at 412-765-1888 to arrange a free consultation. Our office is in Pittsburgh, and we represent clients in Allegheny County, Lawrence County, Washington County, and Western Pennsylvania.