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Booze, workers make volatile mix

It’s not as dangerous as drinking and driving, but the festive season brings another perilous combination that can have serious or at least seriously embarrassing consequences — alcohol and employees at the holiday office party.

It’s not as dangerous as drinking and driving, but the festive season brings another perilous combination that can have serious or at least seriously embarrassing consequences — alcohol and employees at the holiday office party.

Employers have become much more careful in recent years about how they mix staff and spirits, says Jordan Fogle, CEO of The Mint Agency, a Toronto-based event planning company.

But nobody’s found the perfect solution yet.

More than 12 years as an event planner, Fogle has seen everything “from people throwing up on CEOs to falling down staircases to breaking things in venues.”

“You don’t get fights and things at holiday parties, you just get people who have had a little bit too much to drink and end up making fools out of themselves.”

The consequences include embarrassment, drycleaning costs and even lawsuits.

“Negligence liability and sexual harassment liability — those are the two things you see most often,” says lawyer Susan Sorensen of Borden Ladner Gervais, a firm that specializes in labour and employment law.

 
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