Holiday Office Parties & Sex Crimes

Now that the holidays are around the corner, many U.S. companies are about to throw their annual office parties. These parties typically consist of a fancy dinner spread, an open bar, and a DJ for late-night dancing until the festivities end.

Yet, some employers are either limiting the number of drinks each person receives, hosting the festivities in the middle of the week, or canceling the party entirely. The reason being isn’t to save money but to avoid liability for any sexual misconduct made by employees.

Ever since the #MeToo movement began after the media brought to light dozens of rape and sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in October 2017, more and more people in every industry have become more vocal when speaking out against sexual misconduct in the workplace. Now, employers will try their best to avoid being subject to a lawsuit and having to fire an employee due to inappropriate behavior.

If your employer is hosting a holiday office party, here are several steps to take to avoid being accused of a sex crime:

  • Avoid drinking or limit the amount of alcohol you consume – When alcohol is involved in the festivities, people tend to drop their guards, especially if they drink an excessive amount. Keep in mind, if your drunken behavior makes someone feel uncomfortable, not only could you lose your job, but you could also face criminal charges. Always be professional despite the social setting.
  • Be aware of what you say to others – If you have the urge to tell your female coworker how stunning she looks or how nice she smells, pretend that the person you plan on saying these things to is your own mother. Would you still give her the same flirtatious compliments? If not, then keep such comments to yourself and avoid making someone else feel uncomfortable.
  • Touching is not okay – Aside from shaking someone’s hand, touching—as well as holding or rubbing—another person’s body part is considered inappropriate. If there is dancing at your party, keep your distance away from the people you are dancing with—at least an arm’s length.

If you have been accused of a sex crime in Minneapolis, contact Brockton D. Hunter P.A. today at (612) 979-1112 and request a free consultation to discuss your potential legal defenses.