Celebrations in the workplace — Pennsylvania
Company celebrations, whether for holidays, birthdays or other events can be a sensitive issue for several reasons, many of which are less than evident. For instance, birthdays often require employees to divulge their age. Holiday parties are often based upon religious underpinnings. Gifts and celebrations can be expensive and the employer or employees may not be able to contribute financially. Celebrations can also be disruptive to employee workflow. Additionally, if a holiday or birthday is forgotten, feelings can be hurt or even worse, employees may believe a presumably inadvertently neglected birthday or anniversary can be discriminatory or retaliatory. On the other hand, recognition and social events can boost employee morale and, for many companies, serve as strong unifying events that increase productivity.
The laundry list of potential problems that can arise during or as a result of company celebrations is endless. The potential issues range from sexual harassment, intoxication issues (when employees excessively drink) and to what extent company-wide policies (such as a weapons policy) extend to off-site company celebrations or other sponsored events. Considerations regarding the physical limitations of employees during events such as company-sponsored golf outings should also be considered. While employers are undoubtedly never able...
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