That spooky time of year when witches, vampires and zombies roam the land. From management*s perspective, however, the scariest Halloween costumes are those which are too revealing or are otherwise offensive to others in the workplace. For example, earlier this year a lingerie website began selling a sexed-up *Brave Red Maiden* costume -- a much skimpier version of the clothing worn by oppressed female characters in *The Handmaid*s Tale.* (The website stopped selling it after receiving significant backlash online).
Yet, a little constructive fun does have its place.
Properly managed, workplace holiday celebrations can build teamwork and morale.
Best practices dictate that an employer should:
* Plan holidays celebrations in advance to minimize improper conduct.
* Distribute an email or a notice reminding that employees should dress and act professionally.
* Never require employees to dress up or participate in Halloween parties.
* Require appropriate dress at all times in the workplace, even during holidays, to ensure employees do not wear insulting or offensive costumes against other races, cultures, religions, etc.
* Expect managers and supervisors to set good examples in the workplace.
* Do not allow alcohol consumption at company celebrations in order to avoid liability for physical injuries incurred or sexual harassment committed by inebriated party-goers.
* Train managers how to properly enforce the company*s dress code policy without making an employee uncomfortable, such as when discussing whether a female employee*s low-cut top is too revealing.
* Dress for Success (September, 2018)
* If It Isn*t Written, Workplace Policy Is Anyone*s Guess (March, 2018)
* Holiday Season Office Party That*s Nice, Not Naughty (November, 2016)
* Office Holiday Survival Guide (November, 2010)
For further assistance,
please contact one of our attorneys Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.
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