Don’t Be Accused of a Sex Crime at Your Work Holiday Party
Every year, companies throughout the United States celebrate another year of success and the festive season by hosting a holiday party. These celebrations often consist of delicious food being served, an open bar with a significant amount of alcohol, as well as loud music and a dance floor to keep the party going until the early morning hours.
In recent years, however, many employers have either limited the amount of alcohol served at these parties or canceled the event altogether. The main reason why is to avoid allegations of sexual harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct that typically occur at company-wide holiday parties.
When the #MeToo movement began in October 2017 after many women accused Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and sexual assault, men and women from every industry became more encouraged to speak out against inappropriate behavior in the workplace. Not only could employers and employees accused of sexual misconduct face criminal charges, but they may also even be removed from their position or fired and be subject to a lawsuit.
If your company is hosting a holiday party this year, here are several tips to follow to avoid being accused of a sex crime:
- Watch how much you drink – If your party has an open bar, remember a drunken night can put your career, reputation, and freedom in jeopardy. Please understand that being intoxicated can loosen your inhabitations and make you behave in ways you otherwise wouldn’t if you were on the clock.
- Keep your words to yourself – If you are questioning whether you should tell your coworker how beautiful she looks in her dress or how nice she smells; the correct answer is to avoid doing so at all costs. Even a genuine compliment could be misconstrued as flirting. However, such comments often indicate some form of attraction.
- Keep your hands to yourself – Although shaking hands is totally fine, touching, holding, or rubbing any other part of the body can be considered sexual misconduct. If there is dancing at your party, avoid making any form of contact with someone you’re dancing with.
If you have been accused of a sex crime in Bergen County or in any city or town in New Jersey, contact Brickfield & Donahue today at (201) 574-7919 for a free consultation.