Good Luck: Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at Work

HotSprings03172012When you see rivers died green, green colored waterfalls in outdoor fountains, leprechauns, delicious green treats, green tinted nonalcoholic punch, green, green, and more green; you know what that means.

St. Paddy’s Day, a festive day full of fun, parades, adult beverages, delicious food, and lots of entertainment, is just around the corner. Many people wake up making certain to wear something green either to avoid being pinched or to actually be the “pincher” master. You know that person who cannot wait to grab a plug of skin out of anyone who forgot to wear green. Please leave the pinching at school on the playground, since a playful pinch can turn into complaint or a sexual harassment claim!

Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but if you are considering hosting a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at work, alcohol and work definitely do not mix. It often increases the likelihood of bad behavior. However, should you insist on serving alcohol:

  • Be sure your company has a substance abuse policy in place and remind employees about it beforehand.
  • Use drink tickets to limit individual’s alcohol consumption.
  • Consider using licensed bartenders and instructing them and supervisors to keep an eye out for over-served individuals.
  • Make certain that your event has a clear end time.
  • Instruct supervisory staff against pressuring subordinates to continue the party afterwards.
  • Allow staff members to invite their families to the office party to help keep everyone on their best behavior as well as ensure that people head home at the end.

Source: Casey C. Sullivan, Esq., FindLaw



OH BTW, Good luck celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at work! I don’t see anything wrong with a little office fun.

As always play it smart, safe, and avoid exposure to unnecessary liability. In agreement with Sullivan, “To avoid any potential complications with anti-discrimination laws, corporate counsel may also want to take steps to avoid specific religious affiliations and make sure that pride in one’s heritage doesn’t spill over into intolerance of others.” Celebrate the season, but you should avoid any specific reference to religious holidays. After all, it’s “Saint” Patrick’s Day!

PS: Take this four-leaf clover; you’re probably going to need it.


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