To celebrate the holidays and another year of productivity and success, many U.S. companies host holiday parties to thank their employees for a job well done. These celebrations often consist of fancy dinners, gift exchanges, an open bar, and even dancing.
But in recent years, many companies have either toned down their holiday parties by not supplying alcohol or getting rid of the festivities altogether. According to 2018 survey by the Chicago employment agency Challenger, Gray & Christmas, approximately 65 percent of companies plan to throw a party, which is the lowest figure since 2009 (62 percent), while almost 27 percent said they never hold company parties, which is the highest number since 2004.
The main reason why employers are putting a stop to holiday parties is to avoid sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations caused by inappropriate behavior. Ever since the #MeToo movement started after dozens of women accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of a variety of sex crimes, the #WeinsteinEffect has empowered men and women in all industries to come forward with claims of sexual misconduct, rather than laughing the moment off or keeping it a secret for years.
If your workplace plans to hold a holiday party this year, here are several steps you should take to avoid being accused of sexual misconduct:
- Limit your alcohol consumption or stay sober – If your party has an open bar, remember that a drunken night that leads to loosened inhibitions and inappropriate behavior can get you fired and jeopardize your career moving forward.
- Avoid touching – While shaking someone’s hand is perfectly fine, touching, holding, or rubbing any part of another person’s body is not acceptable. If there is dancing at your party, stay an arm’s length away from the person(s) you are dancing with.
- Be respectful – If you have the urge to comment on how handsome or beautiful a coworker or employer looks that evening, save those comments for yourself. Only comment on the person’s outfit if you are honestly interested in said attire, not in a sexual manner. If you are supposed to exchange gifts, avoid giving a gag gift such as edible underwear.
If you follow the steps above, you can avoid embarrassing yourself at a work function. Not only does a sex crime in Ohio punishable by a lengthy prison sentence and a permanent criminal record, but it also results in sex offender registration, potentially for the rest of your life.
If you have been accused of a sex crime in Ohio, contact Patituce & Associates today at (440) 471-7784 for a free consultation.