Companies throughout the United States host holiday office parties to celebrate the season and another year of productivity. Most of these parties include delicious food, open bars, as well as a dance floor and a DJ.
But in recent years, many companies have scaled back on such parties. While some have limited the number of drinks each person receives or held the event on a weekday, others have stopped throwing a holiday party altogether.
The reason is not that companies are being frugal with their spending, but it’s due to the fact companies are trying to avoid being involved in sexual harassment and sexual misconduct allegations that have resulted in costly lawsuits and workers losing their jobs. This trend is mainly caused by the “Weinstein Effect.”
In October 2017, The New York Times and The New York brought to light rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment accusations from dozens of women against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was ultimately forced out of the industry and thus began the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement. Since then, more and more high-profile individuals in every industry have been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior on the job.
If you plan on attending your company’s holiday party this year, the following are several ways to avoid being accused of a sex crime:
- Keep track of how many drinks you have – If there is an open bar at your holiday office party, keep in mind that a drunk night out can jeopardize your career, reputation, and even freedom if criminal charges are pressed against you. Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol causes people to loosen their inhibitions, become more courageous, and make them behave in a manner that they wouldn’t act if they were working.
- Avoid flirting – If you have the urge to tell your female coworker how beautiful she looks or that she smells really nice, imagine for a moment that she’s your mother or a male coworker. Would you tell your mother or a male coworker that they look beautiful or that they smell really nice? Most likely not. Keep such flirtatious comments to yourself.
- Do not touch – While it’s totally fine to shake hands, touching any other body part is not okay. Additionally, any sort of holding or rubbing can surely lead to sexual misconduct allegations. If there is a dance floor at the party, stay within an arm’s reach away from your coworker.
If you are facing sex crime allegations in Riverside, contact Blumenthal & Moore today and request a free consultation. Get experienced and award-winning legal representation immediately.