Trick or treat: Office Halloween parties may bring legal trouble [The Ladders]

David Barron, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, wrote in The Ladders about how Halloween office parties could turn into legal trouble. If your company is going to bravely wade into the spooky legal minefield of a Halloween Party, the first place to start is a dress code. For many adults, Halloween has come to be identified with risqué costumes, pranks, and overall debauchery. Although many companies are tempted to lighten up and allow employees to celebrate Halloween at work, it is important to set boundaries. For example, should employees be allowed to wear a “Sexy Nurse” or “Donald Trump” costume to an office Halloween party? How about employees who believe that Halloween is offensive and celebrating it is a violation of their religious beliefs? Should the office Halloween Party be renamed the Fall Festival, just like many Christmas parties are now re-branded as “Holiday Parties?” These are questions that can cause HR Managers to throw up their arms and avoid holidays altogether.

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David L. Barron


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