Rules For Hosting A Christmas Party In Alberta

Employer Liability for Injuries Resulting from Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle Accidents

When serving alcohol as a social event, the court recognizes a difference between an ordinary social host in a residence, and a social host in a commercial environment such as a restaurant, lounge, or bar. As a commercial social host, there is a far greater responsibility and liability associated when a patron has been involved in a motor vehicle accident after being served. For an employer hosting a corporate Christmas party, the court places a similar onus on the employer and their responsibility to employees.

If you are hosting a Christmas party as an employer in Alberta, and alcohol is being served, there are a number of steps that you can take this holiday season to ensure the safety of your staff while covering your legal obligations.

  • Make it clear to employees that their attendance is not mandatory.
  • Provide taxi cabs (or taxi chits), at the employer’s expense, to and from the party.
  • Within your formal party announcement and invitation make it clear to all employees that they should use taxis if they will be drinking at the party. Announce this transportation service during the party for people who may have driven.
  • Provide non-alcoholic drink options.
  • Provide food to balance alcohol consumption.
  • Use certified or experienced bartenders who are independently insured.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol that is available. Many party organizers use drink tickets as a means for regulating a “reasonable” number of drinks per person.
  • Hold the party offsite.
  • Consider holding the party at a hotel, where guests may be able to stay the night.
  • Appoint managers to casually monitor guests’ alcohol intake.
  • Have managerial staff watch for any employees who appear to be intoxicated, and not only caution these employees against driving, but arrange for taxis for them.
  • Stop serving alcohol one hour before the end of the party.
  • If an open bar is provided, limit the time that the bar is “open.”
  • Avoid drinking with employees at other sites once the party has ended.

Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers In Calgary

If you have been injured during an employment event, or facing litigation as the result of an accident, contact our personal injury lawyers in Calgary. We can assess your circumstance and provide counsel and direction regarding the options for your situation.





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Posted on December 7th, 2013